Author: Marielle Ramaekers
WHO? Mikko Sairanen, managing director, Maitomaa, Suonenjoki in Finland.
WHAT? Partnership with brewery to introduce a unique range of high protein drinks.
WHY? Demand for high protein foods.
Dairy co-operative Osuuskunta Maitomaa designed an innovative line of protein-enriched drinks together with traditional brewery Olvi. Maitomaa started the partnership with Olvi in 2012 after approaching them with the idea for a joint project. Together they brainstormed various innovative products, five of which were selected and further developed while three were successfully launched.
Demand for protein
Sairanen explains: "Before we formed the partnership, there was a lot of publicity around the protein intake of the population being too low. This paved the way for the introduction of high-protein drinks." While sports drinks are extremely popular at the moment, there is also huge potential to develop protein drinks tailored for specific groups such as the elderly. In the long term, Maitomaa wants to become market leader in the manufacture and supply of these types of products.
It is easier to create solutions when you collaborate with other companies.
Managing director Mikko Sairanen: “It is easier to create solutions when you collaborate with other companies. It provides an opportunity for expanding and sharing knowledge outside of the dairy sector.” Olvi is responsible for the marketing and distribution of the products, which are produced in the factory of Maitomaa. They partly found funding for research and development through a Finnish funding agency.
The dairy co-operative is the only producer of liquid milk in eastern Finland and many dairy farms are located in the same area. Maitomaa is currently owned by around 185 milk producers and has approximately 60 staff. They began by producing butter in 1915, and now produce a whole range of products, such as cottage cheese and milk, lactose free UHT-products and have plans to start producing "night milk" that is rich in melatonin. Due to these successful innovations and diversification, Maitomaa’s market share is growing.