Enfamil launches infant formula containing A2 milk proteins14 Sep 2020
Infant formula brand Enfamil launched a new, FDA-regulated line containing only A2 milk proteins and the omega-3 protein DHA, a key building block in brain and eye development. The A2-only dairy is sourced directly from European cows that naturally produce milk without the A1 protein that is known to cause digestive discomfort.
Focusing on A2 protein is an innovative approach to milk that has been a bright spot in an otherwise limp industry, and Enfamil is grasping onto this trend for its infant formulas.
This growth in A2 milk stands in stark contrast to the overall U.S. dairy industry which has been in steep decline for the last several years. Things have become so strained that major dairy companies like Dean Foods and Borden Dairy filed for bankruptcy in the last year. However, other companies like New Zealand-based A2 Milk Company reported a 91% jump in revenue in the United States over its last fiscal year. Globally, the company reported a 33% increase to $1.1 billion from 2019.
Innovation in the milk segment is an attractive proposition to consumers. Coca-Cola’s Fairlife brand, an ultra-filtered, high-protein and lactose-free milk is also seeing expanding demand despite a dairy industry that has been battered by the pandemic. These trends toward re-interpreted versions of classic dairy milk demonstrate that consumers are still interested in the animal-based product.
Enfamil not only taps into this trend toward innovative dairy but works to explain why A2 milk is so different from what most consumers are familiar with. The company said that A2 milk is similar to breast milk, claiming that the A1 protein was a mutation and that cows “historically only produced the A2 protein.” This claim is supported by the California Dairy Research Foundation which said a genetic mutation 8,000 years ago occurred in the Holstein cow breed and resulted in the production of the A1 beta-casein protein. This mutation in the beta-casein gene led to 12 genetic variants and spread across multiple breeds. Today, the A1 protein is common in cattle in the Western world.
However, Enfamil is taking things a step further than just offering A2 protein to consumers. Not only is the infant nutrition company touting the formula’s use of A2 protein, but it is promoting it as a safe alternative to European formula imports. According to the release, “Enfamil Premium A2 gives parents both the confidence of FDA regulated formula and the benefits of European A2 cow milk proteins, along with an expert recommended amount of DHA. With this new formula from Enfamil, it’s a safe alternative to imported European formulas and does not have added table sugar, corn, artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs.” The World Health Organization recommends a total amount of DHA that ranges from between 0.2% to 0.36% of an infant’s total fatty acid intake. Enfamil’s A2 formula has a total DHA content of 0.32%.
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