The irritating thing about staying healthy is that it requires real work—a fact that tends to inspire even the most disciplined people to get creative in seeking out shortcuts. What if there were a way to cut down on the pesky, life-denying aspects of healthy living—steamed broccoli, getting out of bed for early workouts—and still stay effortlessly fit?
That’s the question implied by Fairlife, a milk product released by Coca-Cola last week that costs nearly twice as much per gallon as regular milk. Its vital statistics: 50 percent more protein, 50 percent less sugar, and 30 percent more calcium than typical milk. The lactose-free Fairlife (which, to be clear, originally comes from actual cows) will probably entice anyone who wants to optimize his or her fitness level without having to do anything more strenuous than buying a different brand of milk. In the age of the Paleo diet, the modifier “high-protein” has come to connote instant, pain-free physical betterment.
Fairlife is riding two trends in the food industry, according to Jonas Feliciano, a senior beverage analyst at the consumer-research firm Euromonitor International. The first is that Americans are convinced that they aren’t getting enough protein. The second is that they’re increasingly vigilant when it comes to identifying any intolerance they may have of gluten or lactose. The high-protein, lactose-free Fairlife indulges both of these neuroses.