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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Organic milk delivered to your door in the UAE

Koita’s organic long-life milk features no toxic pesticides, artificial hormones or antibiotics, and has added halal-certified vitamin A and D3,

Koita milk
Koita milk

It’s a wonderfully old-fashioned concept – a milkman coming to your door every day to deliver your dairy dose.

A new service in the UAE is replicating the idea, but with a 21st-century twist. Homegrown milk brand Koita has been offering its organic products in key supermarkets, organic stores and markets, as well as schools, play areas and cafes in the region, since 2013. And it has now started a free “milkman delivery” service across the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Since Mustafa Koita first decided to launch his own organic milk brand, he has spoken to thousands of parents around the Middle East. Out of these focus groups, as well as his own experience as a parent, have come such innovations as a 200ml, lunchbox-friendly milk carton with a twist cap. This means that the milk can be drunk in different sittings, but has also removed the need for straws, which can sometimes end up poking into little eyes. The new delivery service is another such innovation and promises to make life that little bit easier for busy parents. He has also expanded the Koita offering to include non-dairy alternatives in the form of non-GMO soy milk, with almond milk due to be added to the portfolio in January.

Koita was born out of Mustafa’s desire to present his own children with healthier dietary options. “When I arrived in the UAE 11 or 12 years ago, eating habits were not great, mainly due to a lack of education,” he notes. But he has seen parents become increasingly conscious of giving their kids things that are free from hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. “In the early days, the questions I had to answer were, first: ‘Why organic?’ And then second: ‘Why Koita?’ Now fewer people are asking why organic and are just asking why Koita.”

The answer to that question lies in the milk’s taste profile, says Mustafa. When he was developing Koita, he visited 40 farms in Europe, the United States, Australia and the Middle East, to observe how cows were treated, to analyse the environmental impacts of farm operations and transportation, and to find the best-tasting milk. He discovered it in Italy.

Produced by “happy, grass-fed cows”, Koita’s organic long-life milk features no toxic pesticides, artificial hormones or antibiotics, and has added halal-certified vitamin A and D3, which is particularly important in this part of the world, where so many people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

He acknowledges that there has traditionally been a stigma surrounding long-life, or UHT, milk. The problem, says Mustafa, is that UHT milk often has a “caramelised” taste that people don’t like. But he refers back to the taste of Koita milk. “We use a unique pasteurisation process,” he says. It’s a “long-life milk that tastes like fresh”.

If you are looking to add some goodness to your diet, milk is a good place to start, Mustafa suggests. But “not all milks are created equal”, he notes.

You might be lactose-intolerant or dairy-intolerant; you might be looking for a higher fat content if you are feeding growing children, or a lower fat content if you are concerned about a growing waistline. “Everybody has different needs. What milk you choose should depend on your specific requirements.”

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Read more:

Vitamin D: why we don't get enough in the UAE

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