In 2010 global revenue in dairy alternative drinks was $7.4 billion, and this number is expected to rise to $16.3 billion in 2018. A majority of these products, according to Innova Marketing Insights, are marketed as lactose-free, approximately 40% are vegan, and almost 25% say “GMO- Free” on the label. Clearly, lactose-free and dairy-free beverages aren't only for those with allergies anymore. Increasingly, consumers are looking towards plant-based dairy products for healthier lifestyle choices. As being seen today in companies like Dream, plant-based foods are expanding into yogurts, desserts, and creamers.
But there are other US wholesale dairy product trends you should look out for in 2017. Here are a few that made our list.
Due to the tremendous access to information, consumers are more informed than ever about the dangers of additives in food. Even though 34% of customers do not know what the term "clean label" means, 45% of consumers admit that they are willing to pay a higher price for dairy products marked as "clean label".
Added Nutritional Content
As noted in the previous article, 2017 American Food Trends, American consumers are more health-conscious than ever. The rise of functional foods is also seen in the dairy industry as 45% of consumers admit to being interested in beverages that improve digestion. While consumers are shying away from products with additives, they are looking for dairy products with added protein, calcium, and signs that the product will help their digestion.
Soy, rice and various nut milk alternatives have been popular for quite some time now, hence why the massive dairy company Danone purchased organic food producer WhiteWave for $12.5 billion. But healthy choices for cheese alternatives still lack innovation. Today, smoky Chia Cheese, cheese shreds, slices, blocks, cream cheese, and cheesecake from companies like Daiya, Follow Your Heart, and Heidi Ho are leading the way, among 21 other companies who are members of the Plant-Based Foods Association .
Fruit in yogurt has been a manufactured product since 1933. But far less movement has happened until recently in savory yogurts. Due to the popularity of tangy Greek yogurt, trends showing that millennials love snacking, and consumers’ motivation to decrease sugar consumption, yogurts with added peppers, olive oil, cucumbers, seeds, and garlic are becoming more popular. Expect savory yogurt to be a growth industry in the next year.
Have you noticed any 2017 US wholesale dairy product trends at your company that we didn’t mention? Please contact us to keep the conversation going.