The new year is here. It is time to flip the calendar, plan ahead and move forward with unfinished business. This year, 2012, proves to be both a profitable and innovative year, as indicated in the “What’s in Store 2012” report, published by the International Dairy-Deli-Bake Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis.

In a study conducted by Chicago-based Euromonitor International (and published in IDDBA’s report), the U.S. dairy market is projected to grow to $53 billion by 2015, a 5.2% increase from 2010.

Just about everyone buys some sort of dairy food. Household penetration (meaning, households that purchase at least one category item per year) for dairy products is 99.6%, according to a Nielsen Homescan U.S. Panel. Milk remains in the lead with 97% penetration, followed by cheese (96.9%), butter/margarine (93.2%), cottage cheese/sour cream/toppings (82.5%) and yogurt (78.3%). Fluid milk processors who also process juices and teas will be interested in the refrigerated juices/drinks category, where penetration is 75%.

The dairy industry is not standing still. New product introductions continued at a strong pace through the first half of 2011. Chicago-based Mintel reports that 354 flavored milk and 468 white milk products hit store shelves by June 22, 2011. Those milk options with added benefits also incurred revitalizing sales figures. Such value-added offerings include honey milk, milk in squeezable pouches, sleep-provoking beverages, flavored milk, milk laden with vitamins, cow’s milk and low-carb breakfast and meal replacement shakes.

Greek yogurt spurred some hot spinoffs, including Greek yogurt smoothies, exotic flavors and two-compartment packaging, where a side of granola accompanies Greek yogurt. Packaged Products predicts that the children’s yogurt segment will grow 40% by 2015.

Additionally, Euromonitor predicts that the international dairy market will increase 13% to $426.4 billion by 2015.

Read IDDBA’s “What’s in Store 2012” report online (

To learn more about specific market trends involving the different dairy categories, check out Dairy Foods’ State of the Industry report, November 2011 issue.