Ahhh, a new year is upon us—a time to start over, cross those to-dos off your list and make the wrongs right. It’s a time to flip the calendar, look ahead, plan ahead and move forward with unfinished business.

In the event that the world doesn’t end in 2012 (anyone see the movie?), the New Year appears to offer that hope and promise we’ve all been looking for.

2012 also 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 What’s in Store 2012 report), the U.S. dairy market is projected to grow to $53 billion by 2015, a 5.2% increase from 2010, where sales stabilized at $50.5 billion.

Meanwhile, 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%), yogurt (78.3%) and refrigerated juices/drinks (75%).

New product introductions continued at a strong pace, Chicago-based Mintel reports, with 354 flavored milk and 468 white milk products hitting store shelves, as of June 22. Those milk options with added benefits also incurred revitalizing sales figures. Such value-added offerings include honey milk, milk in squeezy 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 trends, such as Greek yogurt smoothies, exotic flavors and two-compartment packaging, where a side of granola accompanied Greek yogurt.

Packaged Products predicts that the kids yogurt segment will grow 40% by 2015.

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

To check out IDDBA’s “What’s in Store 2012” report, go to www.iddba.org. To learn more about specific market trends involving the different dairy categories, look for Dairy Foods’ State of the Industry report, November 2011 issue.