Horizon Organic and Tetra Pak Moo-ve Organic Milk into Single-Serve Territory
When Horizon Organic wanted to launch a line of “on-the-go” organic milk, it was only ‘natural’ that they partnered with Tetra Pak, experts in specialty and new age beverage packaging. Partnering with Tetra Pak and spearheading a new dairy category of single-serve organic milk, Horizon Organic released ‘Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve’ in the Tetra Prisma® Aseptic carton. The beverage line became available to consumers in January 2002.
Research proved that Horizon Organic’s consumers who prefer organic foods and beverages wanted the same convenient options that other dairy food and beverage companies offer. In an Internet survey, Horizon Organic found that of the 600 respondents, more than 60 percent were interested in buying single-serve organic milk.
“The continued market growth for both organic milk and single-serve milk was the catalyst for this product launch,” said Chuck Marcy, CEO, Horizon Organic. “Already having worked with Tetra Pak we knew that they would offer us an innovative package and a professional partnership for a successful product launch.”
“From product concept to rollout, we were ready to address Horizon Organic’s packaging concerns and share insight into the successful launch of ‘Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve’,” said Joe Davidson, dairy category manager, Tetra Pak.
Finding a Good Dairy Solution
Wanting a different look than the traditional gable-top milk carton, Horizon Organic knew that it needed to create a fresh visual impact with this new product introduction. Horizon Organic wanted a package that had differentiating qualities in shape, size, shelf-life and recyclability.
“Package differentiation is a key element driving the success of a new product,” said Davidson. “Horizon Organic needed to appeal to its target audience with a cutting-edge package whose portion size satisfied kids and adults alike.”
To keep shape and size flexibility, Horizon Organic originally thought to package its new product line in plastic. However, plastic did not fit Horizon Organic’s criteria due to its limited shelf-life.
“Consumers want all the benefits of a convenient and portable product without compromising the natural quality that organic foods and beverages offer,” said Laura Coblentz, director of marketing, Horizon Organic.
Tetra Pak demonstrated to Horizon Organic that the Tetra Prisma Aseptic was the clear choice for Horizon Organic’s new product introduction. Since Horizon Organic’s milk contains no pesticides, hormones or antibiotics, Tetra Pak’s aseptic cartons were the best match because they allow liquid foods to be packaged without any additives or preservatives.
Products marketed in aseptic packaging may be merchandised and stored ambient or chilled, and have a shelf-stable for several months. This is beneficial to consumers who can purchase and store the milk in the kitchen for months, while the product remains naturally fresh. Tetra Pak’s cartons are also recyclable.
“When positioned next to traditional milk cartons, the Tetra Prisma stands taller and its unique octagonal shape and eye-catching graphic options look much more fresh and appealing to all ages,” added Davidson. “The metallic, octagonal-shaped Tetra Prisma Aseptic was the natural solution for Horizon Organic’s packaging needs.”
The Tetra Prisma also allows graphic capabilities that reinforce Horizon Organic’s clean, wholesome brand image. The packages are primarily white with the logo wrapped around the octagonal shape.
Working at the Tetra Pak Pilot Plant in Denton, Texas the two companies ran a test line of organic single-serve milk in the Tetra Prisma Aseptic. This test line then served as the test market product.
After spending a year in development and matching Horizon Organic’s packaging goals with Tetra Pak’s solutions, the first product hit the stores in October of 2000 as part of a test. There was a two-month test market of both low fat chocolate and plain organic milk in select Wild Oats and Whole Foods retail stores.
“Initial consumer feedback was very positive. From the comments that we received from the test market, we knew that Horizon Organic had a huge success ready for national roll-out,” said Horizon Organic’s Coblentz.
Horizon Organic learned during the soft launch phase that the product line had to have a wide enough appeal for families with children of various ages. Package size, method of consumption and milk flavors were all very popular to target consumers.
The Tetra Prisma package size was configured from 330 mL down to 250 mL—a serving size that appeals to a diverse demographic. Currently, “Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve” is the only beverage category that utilizes this portion size. Tetra Pak added a wrapped straw in addition to the standard pull-tab on the Tetra Prisma, to appeal to both kids and adults.
“Younger kids prefer straws, whereas the pre-teen and teen markets want a more sophisticated package,” said Davidson of Tetra Pak. “The Tetra Prisma’s gripable shape is easy for younger kids to fit smaller hands around, and the ‘chugability’ is a key appeal for the teen market.”
Two additional flavors were also added to the product line. The two percent reduced fat, single-serve milk would now be available in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and plain.
Before final release, Horizon Organic and Tetra Pak contracted with Steuben Foods in Elma, New York as the co-packer for ‘Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve’. The Tetra Prisma Aseptic and organic milk are packed and filled with a roll-fed Tetra Pak TBA/19.
The updated and enhanced version of “Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve” was officially introduced at Natural Products Expo in October 2001.
Rolling Out an Udder Success
Already available in Starbucks nationwide, Whole Foods and Wild Oats began offering consumers “Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve” in February 2002.
Backed by a robust marketing campaign, “Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve” currently features advertising in retail trade and online publications. In-store promotions will include product demos, signage, on-shelf coupons and point-of-sale displays.
“Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve” is available individually and in shrink-wrapped packs of three. The suggested retail price is $.99 for the individual packages and $2.89 for the three-packs. Retailers can sell the cartons in a spring-loaded merchandiser, in the refrigerated dairy section or in the beverage aisle on the dry shelf.
“The initial retailer response to ‘Organic Milk-on-the-Moo-ve’ has been extremely positive,” said Coblentz. “Both Horizon Organic and Tetra Pak are excited to open a whole new territory in single-serve beverages with organic milk.”
About Tetra Pak
Established in the United States in 1984, Tetra Pak Inc. develops, produces and markets complete processing and packaging systems and provides systems engineering, packaging materials, technical field services and spare parts support. Best known for its aseptic processing and packaging systems, Tetra Pak is also one of the top producers of gable top milk and juice cartons in the United States. For more information on Tetra Pak, please visit www.tetrapakusa.com/grow/
About Horizon Organic
Horizon Organic produces and markets the leading brand of certified organic milk and a full line of refrigerated, certified organic dairy products. The company also markets certified organic eggs and juices. The company's products can be found in conventional supermarkets and natural foods stores across the U.S. and in the U.K. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.horizonorganic.com.
Note on Forward-Looking Statements for Horizon Organic: This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Future events may differ materially from those discussed herein, due to a number of factors, including uncertainties related to the company's ability to continue strong growth, to achieve distribution and operational efficiencies, and to expand domestically and internationally, as well as increased milk costs, inbound and outbound freight and distribution costs, higher costs related to new-product introductions and increased personnel costs. These factors and others are more fully discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001.