Greek introductions continue to dominate growth in the yogurt category, but the other cultured segment to watch is drinkable yogurt. Volume sales in 2012 were 211 million pints and the latest IRI data for 2013 showed yogurt drinks experiencing double-digit growth in the United States.
Dairy continues to be the ingredient of choice in many food products because of its high-quality protein, excellent flavor profile and unique functionality in a wide variety of applications. Domestic dairy suppliers are proving to be both consistent global suppliers for basic dairy ingredients and diligent innovators of new ingredients.
For nearly 20 years, the world had accepted the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) as the gold standard for measuring protein quality. The dairy industry has long argued that this method has flaws and limitations.
Start with something healthy, and then make it better. That’s the basic recipe for creating a value-added milk-based beverage. Traditionally, the three largest and most active claims about dairy beverages regarded digestive/gut health, heart/cardiovascular health and bone health. But, in recent years, the market has seen many novel dairy beverages that tout energy, immune health, weight control, satiety, anti-aging, skin health, beauty, eye health, joint health, mental acuity and concentration.
Protein is hot. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlington, Va., 54% of U.S. consumers say they are trying to get more protein in their diet. One way for consumers to boost the protein content of their diet is via protein drinks. Whether they are high-acid or low-acid, chocolate or vanilla, fruit-flavored or coffee-based, virtually all protein drinks contain a sweetener.
High levels of dietary sodium can increase blood pressure. But the health consequences of population-wide sodium reduction are still the subject of some debate. Americans consume on average 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily.
The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. As more of the boomer generation reaches retirement age, the number of consumers 65-plus in the United States will burgeon from 40 million in 2010 to 72 million in 2030. Similar statistics can be seen around the world, with the highest percentages of seniors in Japan and Western Europe, and the highest population of seniors in China, whose citizenry swelled to 132 million people age 65-plus in 2011.
The time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. The lessons of the last few years have been vivid – melamine in milk powder, salmonella in peanut butter, E. Coli in spinach and millions of barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.