1978 REV low fat milk launched in Victoria

REV low-fat milk was launched in Victoria and aimed at young adults. It was lower in fat and higher in calcium than regular milk. The Rev brand is now owned by Pauls, which is in turn owned by the Italian company Parmalat.

REV was among the earliest of the lower-fat milks and was similar to Hi-Lo which had been introduced some years earlier in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The trend continued. In 1988, Lite White milk was launched in New South Wales and distributed to 85% of the state. Lite White was a success, with a growth of 150% in its second year. The milk was initially aimed at health-conscious 18-39 year-olds. Lite White is owned by Dairy Farmers

By 1989 reduced and low-fat milk held 12.5% of total milk sales. It was part of a broader move towards “lite” products. Soon there was Skinny Milk, now also a Paul’s brand, which was no-fat or skim milk. It became common cafe parlance to ask for a “skinny flat white”.

But diversification in the milk sector didn’t stop there. It exploded in the early 2010s when a range of plant milks started to hit supermarket shelves.  Soy milk had been around for some time but was joined by almond, oat, rice and other milks (or “mylks” as they’re required to be called in EU countries). There is still debate about the health merits of these factory-produced products versus natural dairy milks.

Despite the health benefits touted for low-fat milk, it seems there has been a trend towards the full-fat version in recent years.  The reasons for the shift is not clear. It may be that people are looking for a less processed product or that high-fat, low carb diets have become popular. However, health experts still recommend that adults concerned about their weight or their heart health should use low-fat milk, especially if they consume a lot of it.

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