Top trends in dairy for 2021

Innova Market Insights

Monday, 22 February, 2021

Top trends in dairy for 2021

New research has found the traditionally natural and nutritious image of dairy products is continuing to drive new product development in the dairy industry.

Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends in Dairy 2021 report said dairy’s healthy image is likely to continue despite the challenge posed by rising interest in plant-based diets and concerns over environmental and ethical issues.

Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, said there is clear ongoing potential for the dairy market.

“It remains one of the world’s most valuable food sectors, with a healthy, nutritious and versatile image and the potential for lasting added value. However, the recent struggle with COVID-19 and a generally tougher consumer environment may prove challenging.”

COVID-19 concerns drive immune interest

The market research firm said the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed consumers towards health-related products as people began to prioritise their immune health.

Innova’s 2020 Consumer Survey indicated that 54% of global consumers claimed to have spent time educating themselves on ingredients that could boost their immune health.

Dairy products such as yoghurt and fermented drinks have long been associated with immune health, primarily because of the development and mainstreaming of probiotics. More recently, interest has also risen in the immune benefits of antioxidants and the greater use of fruit, herbal and spice extracts for flavour and function.

This trend towards health-related dairy products, called ‘In Tune with Immune’, was one of Innova’s top trends this year.

Achieving balance with complete solutions

Another shift in dairy product development driven by consumer sentiment is the growth of science-based food solutions. A total of 80% of global consumers said that they believed in progress in food and beverages through science, Innova found. Developments are focusing on tapping into improving nutrition, leveraging technology and balancing diets.

Traditionally, popular claims included high protein for the protein-loving consumer, fibre-rich for digestive health, or sugar-reduced for weight and overall health. However, this has evolved towards more balanced solutions. Products such as dairy drinks offering ‘advanced’ or ‘complete’ nutrition are leveraging the best of both worlds for natural and technology-driven options.

Boosting mood health

Another top trend in dairy is mood-related products. Innova said concerns over mental health are more significant than ever. According to the World Health Organization, more than 250 million people suffer from depression, and that number is likely to substantially grow. New dairy product development around mood is seeing rapid growth, with rising use of on-pack claims relating to specific mood platforms.

Calming/relaxing and energy-boosting are the most established platforms, while sleep promotion is still niche but growing from a smaller base and showing potential for further innovation.

Williams will present a webinar about Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends 2021 for Dairy on 10 March.

Image credit: © Furman

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