Project Light Proof

The high cost of cheap milk

In 2011, the $1-a-litre supermarket private-label milk war was intensifying. Competition from private-label was squeezing manufacturers’ returns if they were receiving a premium for their branded products. As margins were being crunched by aggressive price cuts and collective buying power of major supermarkets, financial pain for farmers and manufacturers was increasing. Global co-operative Fonterra approached Inpact Innovation to run an insight-led innovation project on the fresh milk category.

Discounting wars were focusing consumer’s attention on brands that could offer a point of difference

Keeping the light out to keep the goodness in

Independent studies showed any light strike caused degradation in milk and the loss of vitamin A within two hours of light exposure. Once damaged, fresh taste and nutritional value is impacted.

Research, prototyping and testing spanned multiple continents and involved numerous experts and taste tests. The key to the innovation was to apply triple layer technology to the packaging, ensuring the HDPE bottle was still light weight and recyclable. The inside and outside layers are opaque – the middle layer is the game changer; coloured black, it blocks out 100% of light.

The middle layer is the game changer blocking out 100% of light

Protecting both freshness and the environment

Anchor’s LIGHT PROOF™ bottle is made from the same recyclable HDPE plastic as the old bottle. Nothing has change in terms of kerbside pick-up or drop-off and the recycled resin is being used to manufacture recycling bins used in Fonterra’s ‘Milk for Schools’ programme.

We make it; we take it; we re-flake; we re-make it!

The proof is in the taste

Anchor’s LIGHT PROOF™ milk now has the same nutritional value and fresh taste across its shelf life as the day it was poured into the bottle. 73,662 New Zealanders have taken the Anchor taste test challenge with 80% preferring the light-protected milk.

The health and taste benefits from the LIGHT PROOF™ packaging innovation have acted as the cornerstone to the brand’s appeal and led to growth despite the product being priced at a premium to the competition. Anchor is the only brand that has genuinely been able to differentiate its positioning compared to other brands and private label.

In a highly price sensitive market segment, innovation was used to add value to the category and justify a price premium