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Published on December 5th, 2012 | by Jennifer Kaplan

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Coke Invests in Milk Drinks

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The world’s largest soft drink maker says it wants to create “an innovative portfolio of brands and products that feature the value-added nutrition of dairy.”

Yesterday Coca-Cola announced a new partnership with dairy company Select Milk Producers Inc. to take equity stakes in a newly created company, Fair Oaks Farms Brands LLC, to fuel expansion of the dairy drink Core Power.

What is Core Power and who are Fair Oaks Farm?

According to their website, Select Milk producers, the partner company in Fair Oaks Farm Brands, is a cooperative of 87 family owned dairies all of which are based in Texas, New Mexico and the Midwest.

The new company Fair Oaks Farm Brands (not to be confused with Fair Oaks Dairy Farm) is so new that their website address is still a godaddy.com splash page. Their LinkedIn profile, however, makes all sorts of sustainability and CSR claims including that their “milk that comes from the most environmentally responsible & advanced local farms in America.”  And, according to the Core Power website, Fair Oaks Farms has a laudable Code of ResponsibilityThis all sounds good, but we all know that at a minimum, as part of Coca-Cola, Fair Oaks will inevitably be party to corporate greenwash campaigns that arise from time to time.

Here’s what we know about the Core Power drink:

  • Core is lactose- and gluten-free.
  • Core is a nutritional milk protein drink, aka. “high-protein recovery shake,” that’s made from real milk.
  • There are a number of high-protein recovery shakes, but, according to the Core website “most of them are made with powders and additives and are therefore chalky, hard to swallow and awful tasting.”
  • Core’s claim is that it is different because it uses natural protein, which is healthier and tastes better.
  • The makers say that it will “boost performance, increase endurance and reduce muscle fatigue.”

Nutrition and Coke are not often heard in the same sentence. What do you think?  Nutritionwash or positive development?

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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .



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