Yogurt, enhanced milks top I.D.D.B.A.'s dairy trends

by Keith Nunes
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MADISON, WIS. — Yogurt and enhanced milk are topping dairy product trends, according to the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s “What’s in store” report. The association noted that yogurt brands continue to expand their varieties, particularly in the Greek yogurt segment.

Greek yogurt smoothies, new fruit flavors, and the use of yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise and cream cheese in recipes were all cited as additional uses for the product. Newer flavors starting to appear on the market include cappuccino, orange with sea buckthorn and strawberry rhubarb.

Craft yogurts also were highlighted as an area of growth within the dairy product category by the I.D.D.B.A. Many of the new products in this segment are sourced from the milk of grass-fed cows or from alternative sources of milk such as sheep and goats. Bulgarian yogurt, which is described as having a mildly sour taste, was also noted as an emerging trend by the I.D.D.B.A.

The trade association also identified enhanced milk as one of the new offerings in the dairy case that offers consumers more health options. Aside from vitamin milk formulated to cater to the health needs of children, teens, and women, there are also products emerging in new packaging formats and sourced from plant-based products such as almond and coconut.

Children may get milk in flexible squeeze pouches with a screw top that makes it fun to drink, as well as flavored varieties with less sugar and fewer calories. Protein-rich milks with added vitamins are popular, as are meal-replacement shakes and sleep-provoking beverages that contain milk, soy, valerian root extract and melatonin.

The I.D.D.B.A. also said fluid milk tops the list of food purchased most often because of the added benefit of fortification.

Better-for-you and better-for-the environment were identified as key dairy segment trends as consumers lean toward products with natural nutritional properties, functional additives, and sustainably produced raw materials. Dairy products make up 14.6% of organic food sales, second to the fruit and vegetable category, which commanded 39.7% of the market. Organic dairy product sales rose by 9% in 2010 to total $3.9 billion in 2010, according to the Organic Trade Association.

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