Submitted by the International Dairy Foods Association

Two product entries – Sea Salt Caramel Milk and Coconut Key Lime Pie Chia Seed Yogurt – came out on top, winning the International Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Contest last month in Indianapolis. The competition, which was sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine, showcased the creativity of milk and cultured dairy professionals; it is a popular part of IDFA’s annual Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Conference.

Sea Salt Caramel is a winning milk flavor

Sea Salt Caramel Milk, a specialty milk that combines buttery caramel flavor with a touch of sea salt, won in the Most Innovative Product category. It was entered by Prairie Farms Dairy Inc.

Winning yogurt flavor is Coconut Key Lime Pie Chia Seed

Coconut Key Lime Pie Chia Seed Yogurt, a unique combination of flavors in a rich yogurt base, won the Most Innovative Prototype Product or Flavor category. It was submitted by Fruitcrown Products Corp.

“From healthy products to indulgent treats, the Innovative Milk and Cultured Dairy Products Contest provides a glimpse of the most exciting products that are new to the dairy market or about to debut,” said Tom Imbordino, publisher of Dairy Foods magazine. “Dairy Foods is proud to sponsor this competition.”

The dairy professionals attending the conference tasted, judged and selected the winners.

“There was great enthusiasm among the judges to taste the innovative products and flavors created by their peers in the industry,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president for regulatory affairs and international standards. “How consumer demand for new and exciting eating experiences is driving innovation was a theme that cropped up in many of the unique presentations throughout the conference.”

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.

Industry experts talk about food waste; drug residue tests

In addition to tasting and judging new products, attendees heard from several industry experts, including Emily Broad Leib of Harvard University who discussed reducing food waste by reworking food date-marking practices. Roger Tedrick of the Ohio Department of Agriculture reviewed future veterinary drug residue testing requirements for Grade “A” milk products, and Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel Group Limited outlined what today’s consumers are seeking in the marketplace.
Other conference sessions provided expert insights into social media’s impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions, how to be in compliance with Vermont’s GMO labeling law and best practices for allergen control in dairy plants.

IDFA would like to thank the sponsors of the conference for their generous support. They are: Bruker Optics; California Custom Fruits & Flavors, Inc.; Dairy Foods magazine; Elanco; Fruitcrown Products Corp.; Ingredion Inc.; Krohne Inc.; Separators Inc.; Weber Scientific; and Zentis North America LLC.