The dairy drink industry has faced stiff competition from other drink sectors over the past number of years, however, with the growing trend of healthier lifestyles, dairy, with its traditionally ‘healthy and wholesome” label has a huge opportunity.
Dairy serves as an ideal base for the increasingly popular meal replacement beverage, which comes in powder or ready-to-drink forms. Today's lifestyles demand beverages that do more than just quench thirst. Consumers want beverages that have nutritional value, are trendy and that complement different occasions and activities. They also need to be portable and convenient.
To position milk as one of these beverage options, product developers are having to innovate-and reinvent their product offering, taking nature's most perfect food, milk, and including it in new beverages to be enjoyed at different times of day.
Just think of ready-to-drink coffee beverages such as Starbucks® Frappuccino®? Each Starbucks Frappuccino is approximately half milk, with the other half being sweetened coffee. Packaged in single-serve, portable, shelf-stable bottles, Starbucks is making sure consumers can always have a Starbucks beverage, even when they cannot stop at a Starbucks café. Whilst, on the surface this may seem like a coffee drink, it is a dairy-based drink due to the percentage of milk it contains.
Due to the fact that dairy face stiff competition from other products in the drinks sector – from energy drinks to bottled water not to mention fruit juices and sodas, it is imperative that dairy marketers identify ways to ensure that milk is readily available – particularly when out and about.
Single serving flavoured milks have been around for a while, but this may not be enough to keep the category competitive. More complex alternatives involving adding functional ingredients to milk or using dairy as an ingredient in other beverage formulations may be the solution.
Milk's nutritional benefits have always made it an attractive food to be consumed at home and is traditionally and predominantly consumed in the morning at breakfast… however this positioning is under threat, as our busy lifestyles mean that more and more consumers are eating on the run.
The traditional bowl of cereal and milk, however, is not very portable.
Brightly coloured dairy beverages based on milk or yogurt appeal to small children, whilst dairy beverages that take the form of smoothies and fortified lattes are a great on-the-go breakfast beverage for teens and adults.
For busy, active adults, dairy ingredients can also be used to formulate meal replacement beverages and protein-enhanced beverages.
Therefore, whilst the dairy industry does have its challenges with increasing competition there are also opportunities.
Chemgrit Food supplies dairy-based ingredients for use in the food and beverage industry. For information contact Chemgrit Food.