While yogurt is certainly still having its day, other cultured dairy products are seeing renewed interest. Consumers’ desires for variety in flavor and texture, clean ingredients and nutrient-dense snacks (like more protein or probiotics) are shining a spotlight on yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream-based dips.
Rob Graves is a dairy farmer and dairy processor who owns Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue, Colo. He sells his white and flavored milks up and down the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Business was good for the fourth-generation farmer. Demand was growing from home delivery customers, restaurants and Whole Foods. Graves had plans to expand the milk processing plant. That is, until yogurt got in the way.
Based in Colorado but with roots in Australia, noosa yoghurt has disrupted dairy aisles throughout the United States. Innovative flavors and see-through packaging help the product stand out on grocers’ shelves.
A European yogurt maker saw potential in the United States and a U.S. food and beverage company wanted to be in the dairy business. When Theo Müller hitched itself to PepsiCo’s distribution juggernaut, the Muller Quaker Dairy brand became an overnight sensation.
Origin Food Group is focused on manufacturing value-added dairy products for private-label and contract manufacturing accounts. The dairy processor also makes its own branded cultured dairy foods and beverages.
The star of the cultured category continues to be Greek yogurt, but other international-style yogurts are vying for attention. Plus, bold, exotic flavors, on-the-go products and a high-protein emphasis are showing up throughout the cultured dairy case.
Westby Cooperative Creamery urges customers to “take home country goodness.” Sales at the Wisconsin co-op are growing steadily, thanks to contract manufacturing of organic and conventional products, steady demand from foodservice and institutional accounts, and a focus on product development.