Yogurt, Protein Lead Dairy Case Trends

Dairy is one of the most frequently shopped grocery departments, at 36 trips per year. New product introductions are robust at approximately 12,000 to 13,000 products annually.

That's according to What’s in Store 2014, the latest edition of the annual trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA).

Also among dairy case highlights in the group's latest report:

Yogurt shows strong growth trends. Sales projected to 2017 show an anticipated 17 percent growth (an estimated $9.1 billion USD). It’s a growing breakfast and snack category.
Three macro factors impacting the dairy case are: decreasing U.S. middle-income households, diversity of shoppers by age and ethnic group, and access to smart technologies (encouraging unprecedented levels of transparency).
• Watch for dairy processors to boast protein content and treatment of health issues, messages about dairy’s nutrients beyond calcium and weight management, which tout dairy as an excellent agent for prebiotics and probiotics, and stress satiety effects.
Dairy to-go trends include products with longer shelf-lives, as well as occasion-specific desires (mid-morning snacks), and complete convenience (serving utensils included).

Well-being is an overarching trend shaping product offerings in the dairy case, according to the report. "Many refrigerated dairy case products boast natural nutritional properties, protein and vitamin content, satiety characteristics, and the ability to provide energy, in addition to functional additives. Some of these new products readily meet lifestyle claims, too," the report states.

Dairy products are uniquely positioned as a medium for functional additives, the report asserts: "Today’s dairy case includes products to address protein consumption, digestive health, cardiovascular health, immune system support, relaxation, beauty and skin health, and life-stage nutritional needs. Dairy products continue to provide an excellent medium for fortification."

Globally, the leader with 20 percent of new dairy product introductions is the spoonable yogurt category, followed by hard and semi-hard cheeses (11.7 percent), and drinking yogurts (10 percent). Greek yogurt sales continue to grow, as current data indicated that Greek yogurt accounts for 35 percent of sales, according to Packaged Facts.

Political, economic and supply uncertainty lead to a shrinking middle class. According to the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the decline is predicted to drive a reduction in mid-priced brands and retailers. Dairy producers and retailers will need to address the new markets (high-end and low-end) and better meet the needs of consumers’ new definitions of value.

Growth of minority groups, such as Hispanic consumers, coupled with an aging population will pose challenges for the dairy industry. Our youth demographic will become more diverse and prominent and the aging population will pose new health needs. These trends will require new product formulation, micro-targeting and marketing. Smart technology will continue to develop and allow consumers to demand unprecedented levels of information and transparency. Dairy manufacturers and retailers will need to address these needs with product information and packaging.

Extended-shelf-life packaging offers on-the-go convenience and expands consumption opportunities. Single-serve packaging expands the opportunities for milk consumption and increased flavor varieties.

What’s in Store 2014, IDDBA's 28th edition, is a 230-page trends report that details consumer and industry trends affecting the in-store dairy case, cheese case, bakery, deli and foodservice departments. It's supplemented by What’s in Store Online, a collection of more than 150 downloadable tables, as well as white papers and trends articles.

What's in Store 2014 is $99 for IDDBA members and $399 for non-members, plus shipping and handling.

Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries.

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