USA – Dairy ingredients are at the forefront of meeting consumer demands for healthy, indulgent, convenient, and cost-effective products, driving a shift in consumption patterns, according to dairy Industry experts.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) highlighted the surge in dairy consumption at the Dairy Forum 2024 in Phoenix, emphasizing the industry’s record year.

Michael Dykes, President and CEO of IDFA, noted that dairy consumption is expanding beyond traditional forms, with a focus on eating more dairy than drinking.

“The versatility of dairy ingredients allows them to be utilized in various applications, ranging from obvious choices like ice cream and yogurt to characterizing components in prepared foods like pizzas and soups.”

Dykes commended the industry for embracing innovation, moving beyond traditional products to explore new opportunities in dairy fractions and ingredients.

He noted that the industry’s commitment to innovation is evident in the establishment of the Protein Application Center by Bühler in collaboration with endeco, consolidating the entire protein value chain.

“Innovation will take us to new places. Yes, we’ll continue to have the jug of milk. Yes, we’ll continue to make the historical traditional products, but we’ll find new opportunities in fractions of milk in the ingredients. We’ll find ingredients we didn’t know. They’ll have benefits we didn’t know about.”

The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) plays a crucial role in maintaining quality and integrity standards for dairy ingredients.

ADPI recently published standards for two new dairy ingredients – edible acid casein and infant formula grade whey protein phospholipid concentrate, emphasizing safety and effectiveness.

Miles Hurrell, CEO of Fonterra Cooperative Group, emphasized the future of dairy lies in ingredients, and the industry should better communicate the story of milk’s macro and micronutrients.

“The increasing popularity of dairy protein demonstrates how consumers are making changes on the back of growing awareness of how certain ingredients can aid in managing diverse health concerns,” Hurrell said.

“The increasing popularity of dairy protein aligns with growing consumer awareness of the health benefits associated with certain ingredients.”

In addition, Rebecca Cuthbertson, Head of Marketing – Advanced Nutrition for Nutiani, a Fonterra nutrition brand, highlighted how consumers are making dietary changes based on awareness of ingredients aiding in managing health concerns.

Several new concepts showcase the integration of dairy and plant proteins. For instance, Lenny & Larry’s introduces The Boss! line of nutrition bars and cookies, leveraging a protein blend that includes hydrolyzed milk protein isolate, milk protein isolate, and wheat protein isolate.

Nestle’s Milk & Soya, launched in Central and West Africa, combines the goodness of dairy and plant ingredients to offer a nutritious and affordable milk and plant-based beverage.

The dairy industry’s commitment to innovation and the diverse applications of dairy ingredients position it to meet evolving consumer preferences and contribute to a significant shift in consumption patterns.


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