USA – Northwest farmer co-operative, Darigold has unveiled that it will invest $67 million in its Boise, Idaho, facility this year to ramp up production of its lactose-free and high in protein milk brand, FIT Milk.

Darigold says that it developed FIT in response to consumer trends that demand “better for you” products.

The company uses ultrafiltration technology in processing resulting into a product with 75% more protein and 40% less sugar compared to traditional milk.

According to the dairy processor, the brand has doubled in sales and distribution over the past six months supported by its launch in the Pacific Northwest market last year.

The company has recorded rapid growing demand of the brand that led to it broadening the FIT product line to include whole milk, as well as offering 2% white and 2% chocolate milk.

According to Duane Naluai, Darigold’s senior vice president who was behind this new product: “FIT was inspired by our farmer owners’ desire to revitalize fluid milk.

“They, more than anyone, know Darigold must provide consumers with new and relevant types of milk that preserve the wholesome and nutritious foundation which makes milk great in the first place.

“The positive consumer response we have received gives us confidence that FIT is bringing consumers back to fluid dairy.”

Darigold said that the US$67 million investment will enable the company to further meet the rapidly growing demand of its products.

The investment in Boise will not only expand FIT but will also serve as a platform for re-launching other classic Darigold beverages. “We will deliver a better package for both our consumers and channel partners,” Naluai said.

The investment includes a major capacity expansion, as well as modern aseptic packaging to produce FIT as a shelf-stable product that can be shipped and stored without refrigeration.

Darigold said that the project will generate 15 new positions in Boise. According to the company, the investment will also reduce its environmental footprint as it relates to water use, plastic, corrugated material and overall energy use.