A NEW fermented milk drink, aimed squarely at the new year's healthy eating market, has been launched by Stirlingshire processors Graham’s The Family Dairy.

Branded as 'Goodness Kefir', the product is based on a traditional drink that originated in the mountains between Russia and Persia, where cow, goat or sheep milk would be cultured with a mixture of live yeasts and healthy bacteria, and left to ferment at room temperature. Similar in taste to yogurt – but thinner in consistency – kefir is loaded with probiotics which have proven benefits for the human gut, alongside high nutrient content.

Crucially, the fermentation process breaks down lactose in the source milk, making it suitable for consumers with lactose intolerance. Some studies have found a general anti-inflammatory effect from kefir consumption, and it has long been used as a traditional remedy for upset or irritated digestion.

Graham’s version will be available in Aldi stores across Scotland from this month, made with Scottish milk from the firm's 110 milk producers, and in a variety of fruit flavours.

Managing director Robert Graham said: “Developing new products to diversify the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy is always high on our agenda. We pride ourselves on being innovative, as well as responding to the needs of our customers, so have been working on Kefir for quite some time, getting the flavours just right.

"Gut health is becoming increasingly important to our health-conscious consumer, so we’re really excited to be launching our first Kefir product for Scotland. With our new listing with Aldi in Scotland, we plan to expand our reach throughout the UK in the coming months and I’m looking forward to hearing feedback from our customers across the country."

Available in Cherry, Papaya, Passionfruit and Cayenne, and Natural flavours, Graham’s Goodness Kefir will be introduced to the public via free sampling activity for commuters at train stations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London over the coming months.