The world’s appetite for milk and dairy products continues to grow, and from every corner of the globe processors are responding with indulgent, culinary, functional and convenient products. Meanwhile, A2 milk has come to the U.S. and Starbucks is selling fresh coffee milk in Asia.

Explorers from Dairy Foods and Mintel’s Global New Products Database have collaborated in findings from their expeditions. They have traveled the world to share with you some of the most exciting new dairy foods introduced this past year, from Poland to Australia, and Sweden to China. Without having to cross any borders, or needing a passport, here’s your chance to discover some of these dairy innovations from abroad.

How sweet it is

Let’s start with refrigerated indulgence, an area where America has a lot of catching up to do. Zuivelcoöperatie Campina, a leading cooperative headquartered in The Netherlands, and with a strong retail presence throughout Western Europe, rolls out a dairy dessert called Strudel. Made of two product layers swirled into a single portion pack, consumers find the dessert not only visually striking, but a very interesting combination of flavors.

Campina was the very first company to apply the swirl effect in refrigerated dairy desserts, and thereby set a trend. Innovation is highly important here. After all, the two layers have to remain stable, meaning they must not run into each other.

The most recent addition to the product line is Campina TrioStudel, a dessert with two flavors of pudding layered with a third layer, which is whipped cream. There are three varieties: vanilla and chocolate pudding, caramel and chocolate pudding and cappuccino and chocolate pudding.

When Japan’s Kyodo Milk Industry wanted to introduce a dessert yogurt, the company hired the “cream of the crop” to create it. New Patissier’s 3 Berry Yogurt with Refreshing Fruit Blend, sold under the Meito brand, was developed under supervision of Patissier (pastry chef) Koichi Yamaura. The three berries are blueberries, cranberries and strawberries.

Lots of fruit gives Ohayo Dairy Products’ recently released Chunky Fruit Yogurt a premium positioning. The Japanese load the yogurt up with yellow peaches, white peaches, grapefruit and lychee.

Fromage Frais becomes even more indulgent when a few little extras are added. Milchwerke Mainfranken recently released Bad Kissinger Frucht-Quark Orange Mit Schokoraspeln (orange fromage frais with chocolate slivers). Each 200g tub contains either kirsch (cherry) or erdbeere (strawberry) fromage frais and 2.4% chocolate flakes.

Germany’s Plus Dairy now offers Da Marco Fantasia Di Yogurt Al Caffè Coffee Yogurt. This indulgent yogurt is made with cream and 0.4% coffee extract. Another variant in the line is Cream Bianco al Amarena White Cream Yogurt.

In South Africa, Bonlé Silverstream Farm introduced Bonlé Supreme Smooth Toffee Yogurt. Low in fat and high in probiotics, this indulgent yogurt makes dieting a pleasure.

For kids, Poland’s Bacha now offers Zozole Yo!Go! Yogurt. The two-pack consists of one strawberry and one vanilla flavored yogurt with candies to stir in.

The cream of the crop

Creams and creamers are not perceived as the healthiest options in the market, which is why claims such as low fat continue to be very popular with innovations overseas. The content of trans fats, cholesterol and calories has also been restricted in many launches, helping to give these products a more healthful platform.

Consumers suffering from lactose intolerance are being catered to with more products being made without this milk sugar. Organic and natural formulas remain a niche trend, while functional claims are small in numbers. Hazelnut, vanilla and chocolate continue to be the flavors of choice for new product launches. However, there has been a stream of more unusual flavors appearing in creams, including savory flavors that position the creams as cooking sauces and dressings rather than coffee whiteners or indulgent additives.

Such savory flavors are most common in Scandinavian countries. For example, in Finland, Valio released Curdled Cream Sauce under the Valio Viola brand. The refrigerated dairy-based sauce comes in two varieties-tomato and mustard. They are positioned as salad dressings and promoted as being low in lactose and containing only 3.5% fat. In Sweden, the company debuted Crème Fraiche Mix, which is a container of crème fraiche that has an enclosed lid containing spices. Varieties are Pepper & Paprika, Lemon & Mustard and Chili & Mango.

Arla Foods introduced Arla Köket brand Gourmet Crème Fraiche in Sweden. Containing 28% fat, this new crème fraiche comes in three varieties: Apple Dill Curry, Saffron & Tomato and Béarnaise. In Denmark the company released North Sea Dish, a 250g tub of cooking cream and individual tub of flavoring with the taste of lemon, dill and fish for making a fish-flavored cream sauce. Also available is a mushroom-flavored variety.

The story is similar for the butter category. Low-fat claims have been the most popular, and there’s also been activity in the functional food platform. There are butter products in the global marketplace with added vitamins and minerals, as well ingredients that promote cardiovascular health. Organic remains a niche, while in terms of flavor, the addition of herbs and spices is becoming increasingly popular.

In The Netherlands, there’s new Campina Botergoud Roomboter met Zeezout, which is a sea salted cream butter made from select cream. The line includes Grasboter (butter from cows fed grass) and Kruidenboter (herb butter).

In Austria, Freistädter Milkerei introduces Milfina brand Echte Mühlviertler Knoblauchbutter (garlic butter from the Austrian region Mühlviertel). The butter carries the Austrian Approval seal and comes in a 100g pack. Also in Austria, Meggle has launched Steak & Grill, which is a tube butter with chili. It contains rapeseed oil and can therefore be used directly from the fridge.

In Australia, Fonterra Brands markets Mainland Butter Infusions is a range that contains six different varieties of butter: Crushed Garlic; Lime, Ginger and Coriander; Hot Chili and Garlic; Mixed Herbs and Pepper; Garlic and Rosemary; and Basil and Sun Ripened Tomato. It can be used as a flavoring for pasta, rice, steamed vegetables, pan-frying, sauces and stir-frying.

Anything that grows

Numerous products are being designed for different consumer segments, such as people with food allergies/intolerances, children and women. Yogurts packaged with cereals, nuts, fruits and even vegetables are positioned as providing more complete nutrition, presumably for breakfast, while indulgent flavors remain popular. Ethnically inspired tastes are coming up, as are herbs, flowers and vegetable flavors.

In China, Inner Mongolia Yili Industry launched Yili Corn Yoghurt, which is described as a grain-based, full-cream yogurt containing probiotics. On a side note, Yili is an official sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Under the Valio Valiojogurtti brand in Finland comes Pear, Orange and Carrot Yogurt, while Thailand’s Dutch Mill rolls out a nonfat Vegetable Flavored Yogurt. Austria’s T.M.A. released Duo’R Pfirsich-Maracuja Grüntee Peach-Maracuja and Green Tea flavored yogurt with buttermilk.

Morinaga Milk Industry, Japan, launched Acai Handy Style Yogurt. This mild, moderately sweet yogurt in enriched with iron and polyphenol-rich acai fruit. It is packaged in a handheld pouch that does not require any spoon.

In South Korea, Lotte introduced Wiselect Prime Pumpkin Yogurt. This drinking yogurt is made with sweet pumpkin and herbs.

Milk has long been viewed as a beauty agent when applied topically to the skin. It’s also considered the ideal carrier for other cosmetic inclusion. For example, Foremost Dairy Products in Thailand markets Foremost Calcimesx Beautiva Collagen & Aloe Vera Yogurt. This non-fat yogurt is grape-flavored and contains aloe vera.

In Japan, Meiji Dairies has released Beautiful Tomorrow. This low-fat yogurt makes a beauty claim and is endorsed by celebrity beauty therapist Chizu Saeki. It’s formulated with LB81 lactic acid bacteria, collagen and ceramide to plump up skin.

This one stands out among others because of the marketer and the brand. In Japan, Coca-Cola debuted Minute Maid Fruit Sourced Lactic Acid Bacteria. This beauty-support drink is the first milky drink from the Minute Maid brand. It contains Lactobacillus plantallum LP122, the lactic acid bacteria found in pineapples.

Yogurt drinks know no limits

Overlapping functionality, convenience, snacking and health, the drinking yogurts and liquid cultured milk category continues to boom across the globe. Some introductions target children, while others promise to contribute to weight control or give energy. Many new formulations are enriched with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids, giving these products even more health credibility. Many of the fruit-based products emphasize their real fruit content, while other wellness varieties include aloe vera, green tea and various grains and cereals.

In Argentina, Danone introduced Ser Fibramix Yogur Líquido con Fibra Drinking Yogurt with Fiber. It is made with bran, oat and rye, and contains multiple fruits, as well as an array of vitamins and minerals, and at the same time it is fat free. In Portugal the company markets Danone Danacol Leite Fermentado Líquido com Polpa de Frutos Vermelhos. This forest fruits-flavored fermented milk is based on skimmed milk and contains red fruits pulp and vegetable sterols. The latter is scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol.

More and more consumers are conscious of the risks associated with being overweight and wish to take an active part in managing their weight. The widespread appeal of foods and beverages that help consumers effectively control their weight has been reinforced by the recent launch of a series of successful products throughout Europe.

Some of these new concepts are based on Fabuless, an innovative combination of oat and palm oils (both naturally occurring dietary lipids) formulated in a novel emulsion. It is thought to work by preventing the digestion of palm oil droplets until relatively deep in the small intestine. Because undigested fat arriving in the ileum (the latter part of the small intestine) triggers an appetite satisfied signal to the brain, consumers are able to reduce their calorie intake and still feel satisfied.

Launched by Campina in late 2006, Optimel Control is a dairy shot drink available in raspberry and lemon flavors. It provides the recommended dosage of Fabuless in each 100ml shot. Sales of Optimel Control rocketed in The Netherlands following the launch and it sold out within days of appearing on Dutch supermarket shelves. Thanks to its great-tasting formula, convenient format and proven efficacy, the success of Optimel Control has snowballed throughout Europe. The product also appeared in German and Austrian retail outlets under the name Optiwell Control earlier this year.

Also in 2007, Swedish company Cederroth International introduced a meal replacer shake containing Fabuless. Allévo, which is available in Finland, Norway and Sweden, contains a high dosage of Fabuless and helps consumers to stick to their dieting plan more easily.  The Allévo meal replacement shake is high in fiber, rich in vitamins and has a low-glycemic index. Two flavors are offered: chocolate and banana with orange.

Other satiety-provoking dairy products include Nestlé Sveltesse Iogurte Saciante (Satiating Drinking Yogurt). Launched in Portugal, this fat-free yogurt is made with strawberries, apples and cereals. In Austria there’s new Nöm Fasten Satt + Fit Erdbeer. This low-fat and low-calorie probiotic yogurt drink is said to be satiating due to a special combination of fiber and protein.

China’s Beijing Sanyuan Foods released Xue Ning Cool Aloe Flavored Yoghurt. It contains added soluble dietary fiber, which the company says helps to improve digestion and control weight.

Local and ethnic options

Consumers recognize the difficulties local farmers face and are willing to help them out. In May 2007, Tesco launched “localchoice” milk in stores across England and Wales. In a first for a national supermarket, Tesco, in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Britain, is offering shoppers milk that is sourced from farms in or near to their county. It is available alongside standard milk, but at a slightly higher price, which means smaller, local producers can make returns more in line with the proportionally higher cost of running their business. Tesco is also paying a premium to these farmers over and above the high rate they are paying to farmers who supply their standard milk.

Beyond local milk comes local flavors. In France, Savoie Yaourt released the World Yoghurts Range under the Savoie Yaourt Yaourte Du Monde brand. It contains two new ethnic yogurts: India, with mango and green tea flavor, and China, with lychee and ginger.

In Germany, Plus markets BioBio Grüntee-Lassi Yogurt, an Indian style organic yogurt with green tea and lemon. South Africa’s Giacomo now offers Lime Green Tea Drinking Yoghurt, a sweetened yoghurt drink prepared with green tea. It is Bombay Lassi flavored, which means it is made from mild yogurt and only the finest exotic fruits using a traditional Indian recipe for a full and natural taste.

Greece is the word all around the world. Germany’s Sahnemolkerei Wiesehoff introduces Wiesehoff Spezialitäten Joghurt Greek Style Yogurt, which is made from milk with 10% fat according to an old Greek recipe. Also available is Türkischer Joghurt Turkish Style Yogurt.

And the cow jumped over the moon

The moon must be made of cheese, because the whole world seems to love the stuff. Almost all developed countries view cheese as a versatile food that can be eaten hot or cold, as a topping, aperitif or as a quick on-the-go snack. Health is a key driver of new product development, with low-fat claims being especially prevalent.

The gourmet trend continues to have an impact on cheese innovations, with increasingly diverse and interesting flavors making their way into the marketplace. Targeting cheeses at particular demographic groups is also a trend, with a variety of cheese products aimed at children and women. Portion-control packaging is popular amongst all the latest roll outs.

For example, in Morocco, Corporación Alimentaria Peñasanta released Queso Ligero (Soft Cheese) under the Central Lechera Asturiana brand. A pack contains six portions of cheese that contain only 4.5% fat.

In France, Fromageries Bel is offering Limited Edition Mini Cheeses under the Babybel brand. The first flavor to be offered was Méditerranée Saveur Tomate Basilic (Tomato & Basil). The cheese comes individually wrapped in red wax. Each portion provides 19% of the daily recommended calcium intake. This cheese is a good source of vitamins A and B12. The product retails in a 120g pack containing six portions.

Growing concern over childhood obesity is a global phenomenon. Thus, several better-for-you snack cheeses have been developed for kids. For example, Japan’s Rokko Butter markets Candy Cheese with Iron. Three pieces of these individually wrapped pieces of cheese provide one-third of the daily requirement for iron. In South Korea, Maeil Dairy markets Sangha Cheese with Strawberry flavor. This premium product for children with a bunny printed on the wrapper contains calcium and vitamins A, B1, D3 and E. It comes in a box containing eight 12g pieces.

In Mexico, Nestlé debuted Petit Suisse Cheese under the Nestlé Mi Primer Nido brand. The line includes two flavor combinations: Platano, Miel e Cereal (Banana, Honey & Cereal) and Manzana, Pera e Cereal (Apple, Pear & Cereal). The soft cheese products are enriched with vitamins and minerals for proper growth and development. And, Kraft Foods brings its Cheese Dunkers to Russia. These individual portion packs contain a creamy cheese spread with bread sticks. The cheese is enriched with vitamins and calcium.

Cheese candy can be for women, too. Rokko Butter offers Japanese women bite-sized cheese snacks enriched with co-enzyme Q10. Three pieces contain 10mg of co-enzyme Q10, which is said to have a wide range of beauty and health benefits.

Italy’s Trentin dairy introduces Trenta Formaggio, which is a Dutch cheese rich in flavor and low in cholesterol. The product is made with milk and vegetable oil rich in unsaturated fats and with 75% less cholesterol compared to normal cheese.

For some added indulgence, Chile’s Santa Rosa dairy markets a variety of dual-compartment soft cheeses with accompanying sauce. There are three varieties of sauce available: Guajaba Guava, Manjar Dulce de Leche and Strawberry.

Plan to renew your passport to the dairy case by this time next year, so you can experience more global dairy trends with Dairy Foods and Mintel. Remember, every month you can get a sneak peek at a few new international innovations in the monthly New Product Review feature.  

Anuga Dairy: Global Trade Fair for Milk and Dairy Products

Grab your passport and head over to Anuga Dairy (Oct. 13 to 17, 2007, in Cologne, Germany), where more than 330 suppliers from around 40 countries will present a comprehensive, unparalleled range of milk and dairy products. They will offer domestic and foreign buyers from the trade and the foodservice markets an ideal platform for gathering information and placing orders. The international dairy industry uses Anuga Dairy to demonstrate its capabilities. In terms of innovations, this segment is regarded as exemplary. What’s more, global demand for milk and dairy products is helping boost exports and opening up new target and sales markets for many manufacturers. The healthy situation in the sector is reflected not only in the number of participants at Anuga Dairy, but also in the considerable increase of hall space occupied by the trade show. 

Among the exhibiting companies are AGUS (Poland), Alpro (Belgium), Ammerland (Germany), Arla (Denmark), Bauer (Germany), Bayernland (Germany), Bergader (Germany), Berglandmilch (Austria), Campina (The Netherlands), Conaprole (Uruguay), Edelweiß (Germany), Ehrmann (Germany), Emmi (Switzerland), Fayrefield (Great Britain), Seite Friesland (The Netherlands), Frischli (Germany), Granarolo (Italy), Hochwald (Germany), Hoogwegt (The Netherlands), Humana (Germany), IN.AL.PI (Italy), Irish Dairy Board (Ireland), Lactalis (France), Leche Pascual (Spain), Luxlait (Luxenborg), Milklink (Greta Britain), MUH (Germany), New Zealand Dairies (New Zealand), Parmalat (Italy), Saputo (Argentina), Schreiber (Germany), Switzerland Cheese Marketing (Switzerland), Vivartia (Greece), Wimm Bill Dann (Russia) and Zott (Germany).

The dairy segment plays an important role in the Anuga supporting program, too. Subjects to be covered include everything from international food standards to health and wellness to global food trends. The Anuga Dairy Forum again features designs by the creative students of the Cologne International School of Design, which belongs to the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Their theme is health and functional food, with one of the major trends being the chilled food segment. A “cheese bar” provides another culinary highlight, offering a wide variety of cheese specialties. The 2007 Creative Award will be presented to Germany’s most creative cheese counter team, putting the spotlight on point-of-sale staff and their role as marketers.

With more than 6,000 exhibiting companies from about 100 different countries, Anuga is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the food and beverage industry. Its division into 10 trade shows enables Anuga to offer a unique overview of the world market. Some 160,000 trade visitors from around the world are expected to attend this year’s fair. For more information,

The "Original Milk" Makes Its Way to States

There’s a new type of milk in the marketplace, which some say is actually “the original milk.” It’s considered new because no producer has ever selected milk based on its protein composition. In reality it’s old, or better said, original, as the protein composition is reflective of the way milk once was.

To better understand, about 30% of the nutritionally important protein in cows milk is beta-casein, which equates to about 2.5g per one cup serving. Research indicates that originally all cows produced milk containing only the A2 type of beta-casein, but at some point in history, owing to natural genetic mutation, a variant of the A2 gene and its associated protein appeared. Termed the A1 variant, it differed very slightly in composition from the original A2 beta-casein and has since given rise to a number of minor related sub-variants, such as those termed B and C.

Both A1 and A2 beta-casein are constructed from 209 amino acid units strung together in a common sequence to form a chain, with one key distinction in the 67th amino acid. In the case of A2 beta-casein, the 67th amino acid in the chain is proline in contrast to histidine, the amino acid in the corresponding location in the A1 variant.

In the same way that people differ in their hair and eye color, cows have different traits that affect the balance of beta-casein types they produce in their milk. For example, several studies have shown that Holsteins, the cow used on most U.S. dairy farms to produce milk, differ naturally in the traits that determine the balance of beta-casein protein types in their milk.

“About one-fourth of Holstein cattle carry traits for only the A2 type of beta-casein, with the other three quarter carrying traits for other newer variants,” says Andrew Clarke, chief scientific officer, A2 Corp., New Zealand. “The Holstein cows that produce milk containing only the A2 type of beta-casein are identified, segregated and milked to produce a2 Milk.”

A2 Corp., was established in New Zealand in 2000. The company entered into business and licensing partnerships to bring a2 milk to the market in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United States, and is negotiating arrangements in other markets.

Since 2003, a2 milk has been sold in New Zealand and Australia as a premium brand offering a natural choice in protein content. Consumer response has been very positive, and there has been a growing demand and distribution for a2 products, particularly in Australia.

“Owing to the small structural difference in the amino acid chain of the A2 protein, during digestion it can be broken down differently than the other beta-casein variants that may be found in milk,” says Clarke. “And, research indicates that consumers may benefit from the down stream effects of this distinction.”

Beta-caseins play a key role in the provision and transport of essential nutrients and minerals in the human body. Additionally, it is known that the beta-caseins in milk, when digested, yield numerous bioactive protein fragments, many of which have been well characterized with potential biological activity.

In April, Prairieland Dairy, Lincoln, Neb., became the first U.S. dairy to produce a2 Milk. The dairy is in collaboration with The Original Foods Co., the Nebraska-based marketer of Original Foods a2 Milk. About 175 of Prairieland’s approximately 1,500 cows milked daily produce the a2 Milk currently being sold exclusively in Hy-Vee grocery stores.

Grant Prentice, president of U.S. operations for A2 Milk Co., says that additional a2-certified herds will be formed in the United States as demand for the product grows.

For more information,

Illinois Dairy Markets to Poles

Nearly one-quarter of the white population in Chicago claims Polish ancestry. Chicago is also the second-largest Polish city in the world, outside of Warsaw, Poland. So it is no surprise that Ludwig Dairy has become a local source for Polish-style products. After regional supermarket chain Dominick’s was acquired by Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., in 2001, Safeway decided to sell Dominick’s-owned Ludwig Dairy, Dixon, Ill. A group of Polish entrepreneurs purchased the dairy and started manufacturing dairy foods from “the old country.”

Today Ludwig’s dairy products can be found throughout the Chicago-land area, usually in small to mid-sized privately-owned grocery stores. The product line includes butter, cheese spread, cultured milk, flavored buttermilk, kefir, sour cream and yogurt. Some of the products sport labels written in both English and Polish.

Many of the same stores that carry Ludwig’s products also merchandise an array of imported foods, dairy and other.

Want to check out the Polish Scene? You might find the opportunity when you are in Chicago for Worldwide Food Expo. If you want to visit some authentic Polish grocery stores, recommendations.  

Starbucks Discovers that Fresh Coffee-Milk Sells in Asia

On Sept. 27, 2005, Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, experienced something it had never before: it ran out of coffee. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but the company did sell out of its fresh, packaged, chilled coffee-milk beverage line named Starbucks Discoveries on this very first day of its debut in Tokyo…and even for the next few days after that.

In conjunction with Japan’s Suntory Ltd. (for distribution) and Takanashi Milk Products Co. (for manufacturing), Starbucks introduced the Japanese to the world’s first Starbucks-branded line of chilled coffees. Two flavors were part of the debut: Discoveries Seattle, a latte, and Discoveries Milan, an espresso.

According to the company, in developing the new ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee beverages, Starbucks conducted research and found that Asian consumers perceived chilled cup coffee as the highest quality of all RTD coffee beverages. Additionally, during consumer research, most Starbucks customers in Asia believed that chilled cup coffee was the best way for Starbucks to enter the market outside of their retail stores.

The company took more than a year to create this superpremium RTD coffee line, which is designed to appeal to the local taste preferences in Asia. That is one of the reasons why the product is made locally, in order to use regional milk. The other reason is that it has a short refrigerated shelflife of 14 days; however, seldom does it make it past a few days off the production line, as demand for the beverage continues to be that great.

The name Starbucks Discoveries was inspired by Starbucks coffee buyers who travel the world looking for the highest quality Arabica coffee available. Starbucks’ deep-roasting method-Starbucks Roast-maximizes the flavor of the coffee beans. This flavor is further enhanced with cream and milk products from Takanashi. The package boasts a high-class design, with the Starbucks logo located centrally. The Latte version features a cityscape of Seattle, birthplace of Starbucks latte beverages, while the Espresso shows a cafe in Milan, Italy, original home of espresso drinks.

Just this year, Starbucks introduced the Discoveries line to South Korea, with help from local distributor Dong Suh Foods and manufacturer Seoul Dairy Cooperative.

“Starbucks Discoveries coffee drink allows us to bring the Starbucks experience to our customers wherever they are. Starbucks Discoveries coffee drink is a high-quality coffee beverage, crafted with care and attention to detail that our customers have come to expect from us,” says Jamie Ledford, managing director-North Asia, Starbucks Global Consumer Products. “Expanding into this new channel in South Korea helps to strengthen the Starbucks brand and reinforces our reputation for innovation, coffee quality and expertise.”

In both markets, Discoveries is sold primarily through convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets. The refrigerated cases of these venues are restocked numerous times a day to keep up with the influx of shoppers who make purchases all day long. Frequent restocking means the product is extremely fresh, something very important to consumers in these markets.