• Trends Shaping New Dairy Product Introductions

    By USDEC Staff July 2, 2015

    The U.S. dairy industry is innovating to match the changing needs and wants of consumers. Lu Ann Williams, head of research at Innova Market Insights, discussed ways product packaging of new dairy launches promote nutritional value, flavor and function to meet these changing desires.

    Transparency and Showcasing Better Ingredients

    Once-popular claims of products containing no additives or preservatives are becoming less trusted by consumers. They now look for products with clean label claims, research reveals. Words and phrases such as "natural," "organic," "pure," "raw," "real" and "fresh" are more prominent. U.S. dairy can often be used in instances where common, recognizable ingredients are required due to their wide range of functionality.

    "Sodium" is a word appearing on fewer labels today as food manufacturers seek to reduce sodium levels. Whey permeate (dairy product solids), known for its salty flavor, allows for salt reduction, serving as a solution to lower sodium levels. Between 2010 and 2014, new product launches with whey permeate rose 64.1 percent.

    Solution to Food Trends

    Cultural eating habits are changing, three meals a day are out and snacking is in. According to research firm IRI, 41 percent of consumers view all-day snacking as an important part of a healthy eating plan. Nutrition and energy needs are important for consumers in morning and afternoon snacks, research shows. Dairy products capitalized on this trend, and yogurt and cheese are available as on-the-go, bite-sized, pouch and in-cup snacks.

    Maximizing Indulgence Through Texture

    Texture, an overlooked aspect that appeals to many senses, has become important. Words such as "creamy," "smooth," "thick," "silky" and "crunchy" are featured on packaging. For example, Greek yogurt has found success with its creamy texture. Additionally, more product launches include real fruit, such as yogurt containing real fruit claims and fruity visuals. Consumers can indulge in mix-ins containing energy, lactose free and organic claims. The U.S. dairy industry is paying attention to top food trends and making adjustments, demonstrating dairy can continually provide what consumers want and need.

    Whey Ingredients Market Insights Protein Cheese Dairy Trends Permeate Dairy
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