Robert Wiseman Dairies is to join Arla in the dairy intolerance market with a new brand targeted at consumers who suffer digestive discomfort from dairy.

A2 will be produced using milk containing only A2 beta-casein protein. Currently most fresh milk on sale in the UK contains both A1 and A2 types.

In Australia – where A2 is the fastest-growing milk brand – consumers who ordinarily suffer from digestive discomfort when drinking milk claim that symptoms are avoided when drinking A2.

Although UK consumers will not be aware of the A1/ A2 distinction, Wiseman is confident they will buy into the brand. “Our experience in Australia is it’s a product that drives very fierce consumer loyalty,” said a spokesman.

It has set up a joint venture company with A2’s New Zealand owner that will have its own CEO.

The launch of A2 will align Wiseman’s portfolio more closely with the range of fresh milks offered by its competitor Arla. Currently, both companies supply own-label and branded standard milk and filtered milk.

Wiseman supplies Tesco’s Pure milk and offers its own Puriti brand, while Arla produces Cravendale as well as Asda’s Fresher For Longer.

Wiseman denied the product would compete with Arla’s Lactofree – a fresh milk that has had the lactose removed. “Lactofree is for those who suffer from lactose intolerance and this is for people who suffer digestive discomfort from dairy; they are not the same thing.”

Although it was too early to say how much the milk would sell for at retail in the UK, it was selling for approximately double the retail price of standard milk in Australia, he added.

If the product’s success in Australia – where it makes up 2% of total milk sales by volume – was replicated in the UK, it had the potential to sell 100 million litres a year, the spokesman added.

A2 will initially be available in one and two-litre bottles of whole and semiskimmed