Home of the Olympics, birthplace of democracy and Western philosophy, Greece has given many things to the world. One of them is its mythical thick and creamy yoghurt today often with functional milk proteins from Arla Foods Ingredients.
Greek yoghurt needs no introduction. Part of the Greek staple diet and enjoyed for its rich creaminess by consumers around the world, it is one of the main reasons for Arla Foods Ingredients’ sales success in the south-east European nation.
Local dairies still dominate the yoghurt market in Greece, despite the relatively recent arrival of strong international players on the scene. Since Arla Foods Ingredients set up a sales office in Athens in 1995, many have discovered the benefits of using functional milk proteins in their products.
High protein need
Andreas Andreou, Arla Foods Ingredients’ Greek account manager, has followed the development.
Greek yoghurt needs a much higher level of functional milk proteins than other European yoghurts in order to gain its creaminess, thickness and mouthfeel. In low-fat versions, functional milk proteins play an even more major role, he says.
This need has brought Arla Foods Ingredients considerable business. Undoubtedly the most innovative area within the Greek food industry as a whole, the dairy sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
Following the introduction of low-fat yoghurts, the health awareness trend has brought more news to the market in the form of functional yoghurts with added nutritional benefits.
Functional yoghurts have increased their market share over the past two years, including calcium enrichment, prebiotics, vitamins and anti-cholesterol claims. There is also interest in ingredients that have an anti-stress effect or promote weight management, says Andreas Andreou. Here we have some protein fractions that can contribute.
From the Athens office, Arla Foods Ingredients also sells cost-saving skimmed milk powder replacement solutions to the bakery industry and, to the meat industry, functional milk proteins that improve the yield, juiciness and succulence of, for example, ham.
But it is quite clearly the dairy industry in general and yoghurt in particular that have paved the way to Arla Foods Ingredients’ solid market share in Greece.
We are one of the key suppliers of milk proteins on the Greek market, states Andreas Andreou. We have really what the dairies need in terms of product quality and technical backup.