As more dairy processors are answering the call for cleaner labels, retailers are adding more shelf space for such foods and beverages. Also, consumers are increasing their purchases of organic products.
The clean label trend (which is dominating the conversation in the food industry) isn’t so much a trend anymore, but a “movement.” This is a common thing I’m hearing when talking to dairy processors and suppliers lately. With consumers making it very clear what it is they want, more food manufacturers are recognizing this movement and are answering the call with new product innovation, more transparency about what they use, changing the ingredients, or in some cases, all of these things.
Consumers’ preference for natural over processed shows in cheese sales. While natural cheese sales remained positive, processed cheese continues to see declines. Consumers are opting for natural slices, sticks and shredded cheese.
The world of cultured dairy is a big one and the shelves are crowded. Health experts continue to tout the many benefits of consuming cultured dairy, including gut health and weight management. This past year some interesting trends have emerged that are poised to help grow and diversify the category even more — bold flavor innovation (including savory flavors), a growing interest in drinkable yogurts and an increase in whole-milk cultured dairy products.