Breakfast tends to be the most polarizing meal of the day, according to "Breakfast: Convenient Childhood Staples Get a Nutritional Adult Makeover," an August 2018 report from the Packaged Facts division of Rockville, Md.-based MarketResearch.com.
As I strolled the aisles at the Institute of Food Technologists' most recent food expo (IFT18: A Matter of Science + Food, which took place in July at Chicago's McCormick Place), it didn't take long to discern which food and beverage trends ingredient suppliers were betting on to remain top of mind with consumers. And all of them have a place in the dairy industry.
Dairy processors understand that great-tasting, high-quality products are critical to success. But a number of attributes beyond those essentials (and, of course, price) increasingly are driving consumers' purchase decisions.
Every few days or so, I come across a dairy industry-related news item that stands out among all the standard PR about acquisitions, plant upgrades, personnel changes, marketing campaigns and regulatory happenings. Whether that news is sad, funny or simply bizarre, it generally is excluded from our regular online coverage.
In a February opinion post on TheHill.com titled "Is Dairy the new tobacco?", Gene Baur, president and cofounder of Farm Sanctuary, suggested the dairy industry has many negatives in common with the tobacco industry.
In his President's Breakfast address at this year's Dairy Forum, Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), discussed notable recent industry achievements, as well as opportunities (and challenges) going forward.
This past fall, Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), told attendees to NMPF's annual meeting that he remains committed to achieving passage in Congress of the Dairy Pride Act, legislation in the Senate and House that would require FDA "to enforce existing food labeling standards and prevent misbranded plant-based imitators from appropriating federally defined dairy terms on their labels."
As another year comes to a close, many dairy processors are likely reflecting on the ups and downs of the past 52 weeks — and looking forward to the year ahead with cautious optimism. Unfortunately, none of them have access to a working crystal ball to help ensure success in 2018.