The ninth annual National Dairy Council (NDC) New Product Competition is seeking the next innovative dairy product from college students across the United States and Canada.

Rosemont, Ill.-based NDC said the competition provides a platform for students to bring their knowledge and expertise to dairy product innovation that aligns with current industry and consumer insights. The 2020 competition seeks to uncover ways that connect dairy to consumers’ desire to eat more plant-based foods.

According to research from global market research firm Mintel, 83% of U.S. consumers are adding more plant-based foods to their diets. Researchers from the Hartman Group also found that consumers are interested in including options that feature the combined health benefits of dairy and plants.

A judging panel consisting of experts from across the dairy industry will award $16,000 in cash prizes: $8,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place. Winning teams will be recognized at the American Dairy Science Association’s 2020 annual meeting, NDC said.

The deadline to enter is Jan. 13, 2020. Full contest details can be found here. For more information, contact Rohit Kapoor at NDC,