BY GAIL BARNES
WORLD DAIRY INNOVATION AWARDS 2016 JUDGE
In the US, milk consumption continues to decrease. Americans on average drink 37% less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA reported in The Washington Post. Whole milk per capita consumption has been particularly affected with consumption tumbling by 78% since 1970 (from more than 1.1 cups per day to fewer than 0.24).
The Got Milk? advertising campaign which was created in 1993 to increase milk consumption, after decades of use did not stop the erosion of milk consumption per person – yet it took nearly 20 years for the campaign to be replaced nationally. Generic advertising did not work, but it did consume brand-owner bandwidth and the dollars that an industry with hair-thin margins could better have used for funding R&D and innovation.
The answer to the decline in liquid milk consumption is not more promotion, but rather more innovation – of the kind that has been seen for yogurt and cheese products.
Consumers are being given an increasing number of ways to obtain the nutrients contained in milk, especially calcium, and an explosion of consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles has major implications for packaging needs. Milk and milk-based products, yogurt and cheese need to be available anywhere, anytime, as are their major competitors. An arm’s length away is the ideal distance…
An overview of last year’s World Dairy Innovation Award entries identified five macro-trends emerging based on products entered in the awards. The innovation opportunities that these offer for dairy are still valid in 2016:
Leverage of macro-trends on more than one front could be particularly interesting – in other words, products with multiple benefits.
For example, a value proposition consisting of natural/clean label products produced by companies committed to quality, environmental and social responsibility, that have functional benefits (brain health/heart health/bone health/eye health/digestive health) and that provide guilt-free pleasure, with sustainable packaging that provides both portion control as well as easy, on-the-go consumption.
For added millennial appeal, products and flavors should be adventurous and fun and have a strong social media presence!
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020