When it comes to foods that pregnant women crave, ice cream certainly ranks among the top 10. And now pregnant women across the United States can satisfy their cravings with an ice cream product that’s actually endorsed by pregnancy experts.

In February, Nightfood Inc. of Tarrytown, N.Y., announced that the American Pregnancy Association (APA) is formally recommending the company’s Nightfood ice cream as “the ice cream expectant women should turn to when experiencing pregnancy-related cravings.” APA is a national health organization that’s committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, support, advocacy and community awareness.

In a press release announcing the recommendation, APA President Lynn Handley said the association is thrilled to be able to recommend Nightfood.

“With more protein, fiber, calcium [and] magnesium, and less sugar, fewer calories and with ingredients to tackle nighttime heartburn, Nightfood is a more nutritionally appropriate ice cream for pregnant women than anything we’ve ever seen on the market, based on recommendations from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Mayo Clinic and general expert consensus on prenatal nutrition,” she said.

APA extols the benefits of Nightfood ice cream on its website (https://tinyurl.com/slxbwpp). The association said it enjoys 130,000 daily visitors to its site, so that recommendation comes with some weight.


Focus on small, specific

Nightfood Inc.’s unique new product positioning got me thinking about other niche markets dairy processors could go after in an effort to boost sales. Here are a handful of ideas outside the traditional and expected:

Yogurt specially formulated for dogs (yes, dogs) and packaged to please the dogs’ owners. According to PetMD LLC, yogurt may provide some nutritional benefits for dogs as a meal additive. Adding a small spoonful of xylitol-free plain yogurt to a dog’s regular food at mealtime can provide digestive benefits and even help dogs stay full longer. At least one company’s already playing in this space
(https://tinyurl.com/yc4ks6my), but there’s plenty of room for more.

Duo-packs of pre-workout and post-workout beverages for athletes and fitness buffs. Yes, you will find oodles of both types of drinks out there already. But there’s still opportunity to create something unique — for example, a whey protein- and carb-packed pre-workout fruit smoothie and a protein-packed post-workout chocolate milk beverage with added electrolytes — and market them in one package.

Shelf-stable dairy-based “meal kits” for hikers. For instance, an aseptic dairy-based beverage packaged up with some string cheese and nuts would give these long-distance amblers a convenient, portable source of energy.

Late-night “study snack kits” for college students. Such kits could contain a higher-protein yogurt with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to boost brain function, as well as a beverage blending dairy- and plant-based proteins and spiked with caffeine to increase alertness.

Cheese board kits for millennials. Judging from the number of cheese board posts (and even cheese board “influencers”) on Instagram, many millennials are obsessed with creating (and, presumably, eating) beautiful cheese boards. But many other millennial cheese-board-making wannabees need a little help here. Cheese board kits — combining packages of assorted artisanal cheeses, fancy crackers, olives and more — spell opportunity. And a diagram outlining suggested placement of the components would be a plus.

Savory yogurt for the non-sweets-loving demographic. While some consumers will take the time to doctor up plain yogurt with savory components, there are really no convenient grab-and-go options.
I see opportunity in savory yogurts that include such pairings as cucumber and dill and roasted red pepper and onion.

Yogurt and dairy beverages for the senior market. According to AgingCare.com, seniors need more calcium and vitamin D and less iron than younger consumers. They also are more likely to absorb vitamin B12 poorly. So dairy products boasting more calcium and vitamin D, plus synthetic vitamin B12 (which is better absorbed by the body than that occurring naturally in foods) could be targeted to this niche — and certainly growing — market.