Complementary nutrition – what it means to us


As a nutrition company committed to innovative sustainable food production, we’re proud of the part our dairy plays in helping feed the world. 

If we fast forward 30 years’, there’ll be two billion more mouths to feed and there simply won’t be enough food to go around just using today’s methods, so other sources of nutrition need to be tapped into.

At the same time, consumers’ tastes, diets and preferences are continually changing. And with this, comes some new food opportunities.

We’re firm believers that consumers around the world will continue to want natural, grass fed dairy as a premium source of nutrition. But we see that there will also be a place for plant, insect, algae and fermentation-produced nutrition – a sector we call ‘complementary nutrition’. 

It’s not a case of either/or, but both – and we’re interested in its potential.

Dairy nutrition will always be at our core. We have a long history in dairy and produce some of the world’s best milk – Fonterra’s farmers are among the world’s most sustainable and cost-effective producers.

Plant nutrition isn’t new to us – plant derived ingredients are already used in some of our products including butter blends, healthy living products, infant formula and milk powder. Insects and algae, on the other hand, are new. That’s why we’re monitoring their potential as a source of nutrition.

Over the long term, we believe advances in fermentation technology may help meet the world’s increasing nutrition requirements. While it’s unlikely liquid milk can be recreated at scale, it may be possible to recreate individual dairy ingredients at scale in the next three to seven years.

By exploring the complementary nutrition sector alongside our core of dairy nutrition, we can be part of the changing nutrition options available to the world’s consumers.