Arla Foods has launched a first branded organic milk product in the United Arab Emirates, its first such move in the Middle East.

The European dairy giant wants Arla to be “the number one organic dairy brand” in the Middle East and north Africa by 2020.

The co-op plans to expand the Arla Organic brand into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia next year.

Arla’s presence in the Middle East revolves around non-organic dairy products such as Lurpak butter and Castello cheese, but the Denmark-headquartered business sees the region as its second-biggest “strategic growth market” behind Europe.

The company said it has seen growing demand for organic products across the food chain in the UAE.

“By launching Arla Organic milk in UAE first, we look to tap into this growing trend and gather crucial information about organic consumers, which we can utilise as we enter neighbouring markets,” said Rasmus Malmbak Kjeldsen, senior vice president of Arla’s operations in the Middle East and north Africa. 

Arla Organic Milk is available in retail chains in the UAE including Union Coop, Choithrams, Spinneys, Carrefour, Geant and Lulu Hypermarket.

With production facilities in 11 countries and sales offices in another 30, Arla is the world’s fifth-largest dairy company and largest supplier of organic dairy products. The company told just-food yesterday (25 September) that it is exploring the concept of a fizzy milk drink among a host of products under development.

In August last year, Arla announced a target of tripling sales from drinks that sit outside what the company called “standard white milk”.