Arla Foods is this week re-entering the UK yoghurt market under its own name with the launch of a high-protein, quark-based product.

Targeted at gym users, fat-free Arla Protein is available from today (19 January) in raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry flavours in a 200g format.

It has been hailed by the farmer-owned dairy company as an opportunity “to attract active 25 to 35-year-olds” and is being marketed as a quick, portable snack to help muscles recover after training. Each pot contains 20g of protein and is made using skimmed milk. Additional flavours are set to be rolled out later this year alongside a protein drink.

“This is a healthy and great way to a protein fix in just one pot,” said Arla Foods UK category director Stuart Ibberson. “In particular, it’s a great treat after exercise, since protein contributes to maintaining and growing muscle mass, so we believe it will appeal to increasingly active, health-conscious consumers.”

The new yoghurt is being launched under the Arla brand, as was the supplier’s Arla Squeeze yoghurt – which was axed in 2011 after less than a year on shelf. At the time of its launch, Arla said Squeeze would be a key part of its strategy to build awareness of the Arla ‘master brand’ among the British public. Arla also produces yoghurt under the Lactofree brand.

Speaking this week Ibberson said: “The Arla name presents a great opportunity to be able to build a brand around the inherent healthy credentials dairy has to offer.”

“Entering the yoghurt category strengthens our position as the leading dairy company in the UK,” he added.

Other suppliers have been showing interest in quark products. These include First Milk, which this year launched a quark-based cooking sauces range, and rolled out quark soft cheese in natural, vanilla, and lemon flavours in 2012.

The Arla NPD is being supported by a competition offering one consumer the chance to win a free 12 month gym membership. Entrants are being urged to post a Twitter entry explaining their fitness goals starting the tweet with “I’d like #ArlaProtein to pay for my gym membership because…”

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