Asian consumers call for milk-based snacks

Wednesday, 21 February, 2018

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Asia is a hub of delicious and innovative foods, and a survey has revealed that the rising demand for dairy products in the region has opened up a new area for dairy manufacturers to explore: milk-based snacks.

Consumers use on-the-go snacks to sustain them until their next meal, but these snacks tend to be in the form of muesli bars or fruit. Data and analytics company GlobalData has suggested that dairy manufacturers should be marketing more portable milk-based products that align with the snacking culture in Asia.

This recommendation comes after its Q4 2017 global consumer survey found that 26% of Asian consumers choose to snack on dairy products, which is 4% higher than the global average.

In line with the idea of snacking on granola or muesli bars, cereal has been one food that has shifted from a breakfast food to a snack in Asia.

“In recent years, cereals, particularly granola, have followed the same path, with Asian consumers including them in their daily eating routine but just swapping the consumption occasion. Cereals have become a snack for busy Asian consumers, thanks to slight amendments in formulation, texture and packaging,” said Marilena Loparco, consumer analyst at GlobalData.

If dairy manufacturers were going to make their products suitable for snacking purposes, they would need to change the formulation of them in order to maintain quality and freshness when outside the fridge. The packaging would also need to facilitate consumption outside the home.

While dairy snacks often come in the form of flavoured milk, Loparco suggested manufacturers should experiment with different ideas that could satisfy consumer demand.

“Besides dairy beverages such as milk-flavoured drinks enriched with proteins that are often promoted as a suitable and nutritional on-the-go snack, dairy manufacturers still have room to innovate and capitalise on the Asian demand for milk-based snacks.”

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