Two cultured dairy products -- Yoplait Berry Pomegranate Yogurt & Juice and Dill Pickle Sour Cream Dip -- were named the most innovative milk or cultured products at the International Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Contest last week in Minneapolis. The competition, which was sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine, showcases the creativity of milk and cultured dairy professionals. It is a popular part of IDFA’s annual Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Conference.

“We are pleased to be part of this growing conference. Sponsoring the Innovative Milk and Products Contest is a perfect match for Dairy Foods,” said Dairy Foods Publisher Tom Imbordino. “The contest entries provided a nice snapshot of the great new products and innovations that are occurring across the milk and cultured products segment. It’s great being able to sample these at this event.”

This year the contest drew 12 entries (see list, below). More than 95 milk and cultured dairy professionals who attended the conference tasted, judged and selected the winners.

Yoplait Berry Pomegranate Yogurt & Juice, a mix of yogurt and blends of fruit juices, won in the most innovative product category. It was entered by Kemps LLC. Dill Pickle Sour Cream Dip won the most innovative prototype product or flavor category. It was submitted by Trilogy Essential Ingredients, Inc. Following are all the products and the companies that produced them (winners in bold):

Most Innovative Milk or Cultured Product

  • Caramel Macchiato Greek Yogurt, Alpina Foods
  • Yoplait Berry Pomegranate Yogurt & Juice, Kemps
  • Cheenaks NutriDairi Snacks, 3D Dairy Foods & CheeBrands
  • Yoplait Greek 100 Whips!, General Mills
  • French Silk Chocolate Snack Mousse, Kemps
  • Vanilla Organic Fuel, Organic Valley
  • Marshmallow (PEEPS) Flavored Milk, Prairie Farms

Most Innovative Milk or Cultured Prototype Product/Flavor

  • Chocolate MoonPie Milk, MD Enterprises
  • S’mores Flavored Eggnog, Sensory Effects International
  • Dill Pickle Sour Cream Dip, Trilogy Essential Ingredients
  • Strawberry Chia Smoothie, Kemps
  • Mango Coconut Blended Greek Yogurt, Fruitcrown Products

IDFA’s Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Conference attendance was at 4-year high

“This year was another banner year for our Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Conference,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president for regulatory and international standards. “Attendance was the highest it has been in four years and we had 15 sponsors, more than ever before. There was great enthusiasm and engagement among attendees.”

Fairlife CEO Steve Jones shared the company’s strategy to gain consumer credibility in the health and wellness sector

In addition to tasting and judging new products, the attendees heard from Steve Jones, chief executive officer of fairlife, LLC, who shared the company’s strategy to gain consumer credibility for their products in the health and wellness sector. Other conference sessions presented innovative technologies in food safety testing, explained new tools in online measurement of nutrient and solids content and discussed implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Attendees had the opportunity to tour Minnesota-based facilities of Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, and Delkor Systems, which offers a range of secondary packaging solutions for the dairy industry.

Earlier this year, IDFA honored ice cream makers for their innovative products. Read "Cake flavors take the cake at IDFA’s annual ice cream flavor contest."

The Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Conference is the only meeting that focuses specifically on milk and cultured dairy products research, technology, new market trends, food safety, labeling and marketing opportunities.

Conference sponsors were Atlantium Technologies, California Custom Fruits & Flavors, CSC Sugar, Delkor Systems, Dairy Foods, Foss North America, Fruitcrown Products, GEA Group; Ingredion, Krohne, Neogen, ProSpect Analytical Technology; Quality Management, Separators and TIC Gums.

Information submitted by the International Dairy Foods Association