Arla Best of Both Milk
Arla’s B.O.B Milk has rejuvenated Britain’s tired dairy aisles, and been named Product of the Year. Here’s how we helped them do it
Arla’s new B.O.B (Best of Both) Milk is one of the biggest innovations to hit the milk category in decades, combining for the first time the taste of semi-skimmed milk with the near-zero fat content of skimmed. And B.O.B Milk owes much of its success to Happen’s unusually pragmatic innovation approach.
Arla came to us in 2014 looking for ways to add value to its milk products. They had lots of ideas, but they needed to know which ones they could turn into compelling new propositions. And with the pending removal of EU milk quotas putting even greater pressure on margins, they needed to get to market fast.
For these reasons it was clear that the challenge was best suited to our Asset-Out Innovation approach, which halves the time it takes to get new products to market by unlocking the creative possibilities of companies’ existing production capabilities.
What we did
Firstly, we worked with Arla to really get under the skin of its production and R&D capabilities. How could milk be treated to offer something new, while remaining a familiar, natural product? In this way we came up with “buildings blocks” of new products that were feasible and could be developed quickly. One of these was the ability to make milk thicker, thanks to a new technology that could add back the natural whey protein removed when skimming milk.
We then worked with consumers to identify unmet needs in the milk category. This revealed concerns about the fat content of milk, but a clear preference for the taste and feel of semi-skimmed over skimmed. By connecting this with the new ability to thicken skimmed milk, we created the concept of B.O.B Milk.
The idea may seem obvious, but our Asset-Out process revealed that B.O.B Milk lay in the sweet spot between being feasible to produce, meeting a consumer need, and representing a significant commercial opportunity. This instantly elevated it above the other 30 ideas competing for investment.
Just 18 months on from completion of the project, Arla launched B.O.B Milk in January 2016. Already it has driven 12% growth in the extra revenue Arla earns from its added-value milk products, and Arla has had to increase production capacity to meet demand. To top it all, consumers have given B.O.B Milk their stamp of approval, voting it Product of the Year in the milk category.
I’d never attended any of these innovation sessions in the past where we actually ended up with a product on the market. Now we’ve got three products out there, and one being probably the most successful NPD launch we’ve ever had in the UK. That’s pretty impressive.
Head of Product Technology Development
Arla Foods Ltd
By using our unique asset out innovation approach, we worked with the Arla team to create NPD opportunities that were tied up to feasibility within their supply chain structure, this ensured the products could get to market very quickly!Our People