Consumers can now buy fresh A2 milk in North Island stores under Fonterra’s Anchor brand.
But it won’t come cheap – a 2 litre bottle will cost $6.38 and a 1 litre $3.99, which compares with a regular 2 litre of Anchor blue at $4.57 or 1 litre $2.87.
The arrival of the milk in supermarket fridges follows a deal signed earlier this year between Fonterra and the A2 Milk Company, which has enjoyed strong profits over the past decade.
A2 Milk shares hit a high of $13.99 in March but have since dropped to $10.53. At the time it was New Zealand’s biggest listed company, beating out Auckland International Airport, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Meridian Energy.
Fonterra Brands New Zealand acting sales director Grant Watson said he was confident A2 milk would prove popular.
“Anchor already has 10 varieties of milks and will continue catering to a variety of diets, ages and stages so that as many people as possible have the option to consume milk products,” Watson said.
While most cows carry both A1 and A2 proteins, A2 milk comes from herds that that produce milk naturally free of the A1 protein.
Production of A1 or A2 type milk depends on a cow’s genetics, and research indicates A2 may be healthier for people who are susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, autism, schizophrenia and Crohn’s disease.
A2 Milk’s managing director and chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka, who is due to visit New Zealand on Thursday from her base in Australia, said the company was pleased to provide the milk to New Zealanders for the first time.
“Some people who have trouble drinking regular milk say they can feel the difference of A2,” she said.
The milk is available in Pak ‘n Save and New World North Island stores initially but should be nationwide by October.
By: GERARD HUTCHING