St Helen's Farm is trying to wrest a greater share of the booming probiotic dairy drinks market from one-shot yoghurt-based lines, with the launch of a probiotic fresh milk.

The semi-skimmed fresh cow's milk - called Dancing Daisy - takes the dairy company into territory dominated by the likes of Actimel, Vitality and Yakult.

Angus Wielkopolski, MD, said the new line offered consumers a way of including probiotics in their diet without changing their routine or buying anything extra - simply by pouring the milk over their cereal.

According to Wielkopolski, some consumers are attracted by the prospect of 'good bacteria' but are put off by added ingredients in some products. "A 250ml serving of Dancing Daisy is an easy way for consumers to consume probiotics without changing their diet. If they already consume milk each day, then it is a healthier option for most people," he said.

Milk with functional extras is not a new phenomenon. Flora Pro-activ's cholesterol-reducing properties were extended to milk two years ago and Dairy Crest brought out St Ivel Advance with added Omega-3 last year. St Helen's Farm itself already sells Night Time milk. Despite innovation, milk consumption is static at best.

Rolling out next month, Dancing Daisy's live ingredient is a Lactobacillus acidophilus, which the company claims is new to the UK. Support includes a web site and a PR campaign targeting women's media.

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