Thursday, August 15, 2019

Give your Yogurt Personality, a Purpose, a Meaning

Earlier this week, one of America’s most beloved caramel brands, Werther’s Original, announced it was rolling out new brand creative that adds more relevancy to what consumers feel when they enjoy a Werther’s Original caramel. That would be “A little piece of bliss.” The new commercial is more diverse and inclusive of all Werther’s consumers. It features a variety of products from the Werther’s Original portfolio that demonstrate for consumers all the many ways Werther’s can be enjoyed.

Werther’s Original is no longer simply a delicious caramel. It’s a little bit of bliss and is associated with enjoyable moments.

“We want to show consumers that there is a Werther’s caramel for everyone and every occasion,” says Katelin Lindley, senior marketing manager.

That made me think back to a few weeks ago when Midwest Dairy and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin hosted a Dairy Experience Forum in St. Paul, Minn. The event brought together dairy farmers, industry experts and partners with the goal of sparking disruptive innovation to drive the industry forward. Conversations focused on pushing attendees to think with the mindset of the next generation of consumers so that new innovations were designed to keep dairy foods relevant. Attendees walked away knowing that there are opportunities for dairy to be more spontaneous by creating products that disrupt the category and meet consumers’ needs in new and unexpected ways.

When discussing an example of disruptive innovation, Erika Thiem, director-dairy platform supply chain leader, General Mills, shared the story of a recent journey her team took after seeing a loss of market share in the traditional yogurt segment. They knew they needed something different, even if it meant possibly cannibalizing some of their own sales.

“We needed to find out why consumers were firing traditional yogurt products in the category,” said Thiem. “Falling in love with what the problem was, led us to create a new French-style yogurt which fulfills the need of a consumer who’s looking for a calm moment to relax. Taking the time to understand the job the product needed to do for the consumer really helped us follow the innovation path.”

The innovators gave their new yogurt line—Oui by Yoplait--a personality. The line has been in the marketplace for a little more than two years and has gained a very solid following. The premium yogurts described as “Inspired by our traditional French recipe” come in 5-ounce glass jars that are part of that personality. In addition to suggesting luxury, elegance and pure deliciousness, the clear glass jars have become the star of many Pinterest posts of do-it-yourself crafts. Some oui by Yoplait yogurt consumers are giving the jars a second life, others are recycling them. The glass jar has a purpose.

Here’s something to ponder, while higher protein was part of Greek yogurt’s appeal when it first rolled out, was that the real attraction? Was it the protein or was it that the protein was suggestive of strength and vitality?

Greek yogurt took on a personality of its own. It had a purpose in the diet and was providing a powerful nutrient in an affordable, delicious and convenient format.

Protein is now mainstream. Protein is expected.

You know what else is expected in yogurt? For starters, not too much, if any, added sugars. Probiotics and protein are also expected. In other words, these call outs on package labels are important but they’ve become expected and don’t necessarily suggest a personality or a purpose.

Here’s a new yogurt drink that is all about personality. Danone is adding to its Activia portfolio in the U.K. with a new range of bottled Live Culture Smoothies. The drink comes in two flavors. The orange fruits and vegetables is a blend of Activia yogurt with mango, peach, carrot, date and linseed. The red fruits and vegetables is a blend of Activia yogurt, strawberry, blueberry, beetroot, pomegranate, persimmon and chia seeds.

Bottles carry some bold statements, including “exclusive live yogurt cultures” and “one of your five-a-day.” Each bottles contains billions of live probiotic cultures, provides a source of protein, calcium and fiber, and contains no added sugar.

“With 30 years of experience, and our passion for happy guts, we’re really excited to launch our new Live Culture Smoothies, which contain all the goodness of our Activia yogurt along with a delicious portion of fruit and veg,” says Ben Kind, Activia brand manager. “We are continually adapting our range of fermented products to ensure that we are meeting evolving consumer demands.

“We know that younger consumers in particular want both nutrition and convenience, rather than having to choose between one or the other,” says Kind. “Our Live Culture Smoothies will launch in a convenient bottle format, ensuring that this delicious and nutritious product can be enjoyed on the go.”

Innova Market Insights reported a few days ago that more than half of all U.S. consumers now buy yogurt as part of their typical grocery basket, but their habits appear to be evolving. Convenience themes are becoming increasingly important, for example, with 17% of consumers naming this as a significant choice factor in 2018, which is more than twice as many from the previous year.

This can be explained by a shift in eating habits, as evidenced by recent data. Breakfast is still the number-one occasion for yogurt consumption, but it has lost ground over the past few years. Now, an increasing number of consumers are turning to yogurt as a convenient snack, while dinner is a growing niche.

These different eating occasions call for different yogurt personalities. What’s attractive at breakfast may not appeal mid-afternoon.

Oui by Yoplait is more of an evening snack or dessert, while Activia Live Culture Smoothies has on-the-go breakfast appeal.
“These shifts highlight the importance of ongoing innovation in this marketplace,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Convenient formats are now important for many consumers, while the rise of dinner usage suggests interest in more indulgent, dessert-style yogurts.”

Health remains another ever-present theme within yogurt development. The percentage of consumers who cite health as a significant choice factor has dropped in recent years, but most yogurts now occupy at least some kind of health platform so healthiness is increasingly accepted as standard.

In 2018, 64% of all new yogurts made digestive or gut health claims, while 58% were low in fat. There is evolution here too, with a growing focus on sugar reduction in recent years: low- and no-added-sugar claims increased their share of yogurt launches from just 3% in 2014 to 21% in 2018.

Indeed, low- and no-added sugar claims are where formulators are focusing their efforts. There are numerous ways to achieve this, and it often takes a systems approach involving cultures, enzymes and premium flavors.

Much like I queried about the meaning of protein concentration in
 Greek yogurt, let’s think about the sugar content proposition. Is this about being a lower-sugar yogurt or is it about providing a great-tasting yogurt product that helps the health and wellness shopper reduce their sugar intake? I think it’s the latter. That’s why it’s important to give the product a personality.

Danone did this earlier in the year with its Two Good Greek Lowfat Yogurt, which is described as “the ultimate twosome of less sugar and more delicious.” The brand recently added Black Cherry, Coconut and Plain to its lineup.

The brand developed a patent-pending slow-straining batching process that removes the sugar from the milk used to make the yogurt. What’s left is a thick, creamy Greek low-fat yogurt with more than 80% less sugar than average Greek yogurt. It gets a touch of sweet from stevia Reb M. A 5.3-ounce serving contains 2 grams total sugar, 12 grams of protein and 80 calories.

It’s no longer enough to simply call your product yogurt. It’s time to give it meaning. Give it a personality.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Gen Z Requires Dairy Processors to Push the Boundaries of Innovation

Photo source: Synergy

Generation Z was born somewhere between the mid-1990s and about 2015 (years are still to be decided). It’s the world’s youngest and largest consumer group and they have real food and beverages likes and dislikes. This is so much more than not wanting to eat their vegetables.

They are a tech-savvy, culturally diverse and experience-focused generation. They research foods and beverages in social media and directly impact household spending when they are not buying product themselves. Yes, they shop! Many parents let their youngest household members access the online grocery shopping account to select their preferred foods. (When my kids were little, the rule was it had to be on sale and I had to have a coupon. Today, sales and coupons are often irrelevant for many foodie households.)

A few weeks ago, Midwest Dairy and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin hosted a Dairy Experience Forum in St. Paul, Minn. The event brought together dairy farmers, industry experts and partners with the goal of sparking disruptive innovation to drive the industry forward. The group focused on getting into the consumer mindset of Gen Z in order to keep dairy foods relevant.

Among the highlights of the event was a live Gen Z consumer focus group of eight young adults ages 18-21 that discussed how their generation’s personal values and perceptions of food impact how they make purchasing decisions. During the discussion it became apparent that while Gen Z has some similarities to the Millennials who proceed them, they are also very different. Overall, the group identified themselves as skeptics, career focused, more protective of their social media exposure, concerned about equality and driven to make the world a better place. Given their on-the-go-lifestyles, convenience is a top priority, which provides numerous untapped opportunities for dairy to innovate and create products that will fit consumers’ ever-changing needs.

“It is essential that we think about the values of Gen Z now in order to establish trust and brand loyalty among a generation that will have huge buying power in the years to come,” said Lucas Lentsch, CEO of Midwest Dairy. “As an industry, we need to pay attention to what they care about and be proactive in creating innovative products that meet their needs, instead of being reactive and missing opportunities. Gen Z is setting the trends today that other generations will follow tomorrow, so it is essential that dairy is part of that conversation.”

Building off the discussion of proactive and disruptive innovation, Lentsch hosted an Innovation Panel. This group reinforced that in order to truly innovate, the dairy industry needs to tap into the consumer mindset and establish a type of brand love for dairy.

During this panel, marketing and product development leaders from Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), General Mills and Sartori Cheese discussed the need for consistent and spontaneous innovation in order to spark brand love. As an industry, dairy has always been very consistent, always providing a fresh, nutritious product produced by farmers. However, there is opportunity for dairy to be more spontaneous by creating products that disrupt the category and meet consumers’ needs in new and unexpected ways.

This includes flavor innovation. Gen Z is forcing the dairy industry to push the boundaries of flavor innovation. It’s time to get ready, get set and go!

Think more limited-edition and seasonal flavors. Tap into international flavor trends. Try a flavor contest. Gen Z wants to be engaged in flavor innovation and now is the time to get them involved.

To read an article I recently wrote for Food Business News on how “International ice cream formulations are diversifying U.S. freezers,” link HERE.

Photo source: Pasha Ice Cream

“The current climate of innovation for dairy and dairy alternatives tends to fall into either indulgence or functional categories,” says Sarah Diedrich, customer marketing manager at Synergy Flavors.

In regards to indulgence, she says we can expect to see more texture plays in decadent frozen desserts.

“We see this through the new retail ice cream layered pints,” says Diedrich. “When asking the American teenager their favorite component of an ice cream, rarely is it ever the base itself. They crave the details that make it unique, the cookie dough pieces, the hard chocolate coating, and top it with gummy worms…why not? 

“Breakfast-inspired dessert flavors, like French toast crumble, and popular cereal milk profiles, are big with Gen Z, as they are familiar flavors that Gen Z loves, but still disruptive and Instagram-worthy.”

At the Dairy Experience Forum, there was a discussion about social media and e-commerce and how this is both changing the way consumers shop for their food and also how they discover new products. This is the way Gen Z shops. With online food sales expected to grow 20% by 2023, there is opportunity for dairy as consumers will continue to seek out foods that are fresh, local, convenient and align with their values. While the process for discovering these foods might look different in the future, e-commerce is very exciting as it allows niche products to reach an even larger audience much faster and to build brand loyalty much more quickly than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Research shows once a consumer buys your product online, they are likely to purchase it time and time again.

Photo source: Synergy

“The e-commerce panel reminded us that while shopping for your food online will only increase over the years, it doesn’t mean that traditional grocery stores will go away. We will just need to think differently about how we bring our products to market in each of these avenues,” said Allen Merrill, Midwest Dairy chairman of Midwest Dairy’s board of directors. “For example, future consumers may buy all their groceries online, but they will still visit their local grocery store to explore and discover new products and brands. This offers a tremendous opportunity for new dairy innovation, and that is very exciting.”

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, shared insights about today’s global consumer and the opportunity for dairy to meet the needs of consumers around the world. This is essential, as the world’s population continues to grow at a rate of 1.07% a year, equaling roughly 82 million people.

“Roughly 95% to 97% of the world’s population lives outside the U.S. and that is a population that continues to grow,” said Vilsack. “It’s a younger population in developing and developed countries where incomes are rising, the middle class is expanding and cities are growing. There is a tremendous demand for dairy protein. So, in addition to having so many consumers for our products, the world needs and wants dairy.”

To read about the power of dairy protein, link HERE to an article I wrote for Food Business News titled “Dairy vs. Plant Protein.”

Sustainability also continues to be an important driver for consumers. The Gen Z focus group participants at the Dairy Experience Forum, as well as several speakers, discussed how farmers are the solution for sustainability issues, not the problem. On the front lines and with a deep investment in animal and land stewardship, dairy farmers can address root sustainability issues like water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, caring for the earth and animal welfare. While his is an everyday mission for farmers, speakers challenged farmers to proactively share the stories about how they are caring for the world in tangible ways in order to better connect consumers with the truths about dairy farming and sustainability.

Gen Z wants to know. They are demanding the information from their brands.

Synergy Flavors suggests three Gen Z-driven macro trends that are impacting the industry in far-reaching ways.

  • Unity: Younger consumers support brands that align with their views and encourage companies to take a stance on political opinion. For example, ‘buycotting’ is the anti-boycott, encouraging the excess purchase of a particular brand or product to support their messaging and counter sales of the competitors with which they don’t agree. Gen Z is seeking more authentic foods and beverages, with a particular interest in clean-label products and with traceable and transparent sourcing.
  • Tech Integration: Gen Z consumers are completely tech-savvy and using it to their benefit. They aren’t disengaged by their devices. They are connecting with content and friends on deeper levels and developing enriching relationships. Creating a visual and verbal brand lifestyle on social media is imperative to the success for new food and beverage products, and Gen Z consumers often define how “cool” a product is based on how it makes them feel, driven, in part, by its online persona. Their food or flavor of choice for the day also may depend on how they are feeling in that moment. How can food manufacturers use this to their advantage? By developing products meant for specific occasions or feelings (i.e. relaxing vs. exciting), they can attract Gen Z consumers and create a deeper connection to their needs.
  • Sensory-Centric Focus: Innovation has given the youngest generation an array of fun, multi-sensorial experiences. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and unique activities, such as escape rooms and culinary tourism, all bring about new worlds to explore, and sensory experiences rank as top gifts for teens and young adults. Thus, Gen Z is expecting a lot out of products in terms of the “wow” factor. Gen Z consumers prefer bold flavor combinations like sweet, sour and spicy, and are keen on more extreme sensations, like ‘super-sour,” but without veering too unique in profile. Younger generations have a higher tolerance to these extreme profiles than those before them, so what’s hot enough or sour enough for the average Joe may seem “weak” to Gen Z.
“Forward-looking food and beverage brands are eager to anticipate trends the diverse and digitally native Gen Z are bringing to the world,” says Diedrich. “Growing up with a focus on authenticity of food rather than brand loyalty brings new challenges and opportunities, but by understanding the context in which these consumers live, manufacturers can develop more attractive products that are better suited to their needs and wants, delivering better performance in the marketplace.” 

Innova Market Insights has identified a number of themes that are dominating the top flavor trends of this year and will influence innovation going forward. This includes:

  • New Discoveries. All consumers, but especially Gen Z, are on a big, broad journey of discovery, moving out of their comfort zones to explore new food experiences, with flavor playing a major part. There is a role for reinventing classic flavors with novel twists, alongside developing new and more unusual flavors and combinations.

“When it comes to category fusion, I love the example of the Veggie Plot,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of insights and innovation at Innova Market Insights. “This is a savory yogurt that can be ready-to-eat, or it can be used in sauce or as a dip. Everybody can customize how they are going to use that because it ticks several category boxes.”

  • Sensational Concepts. Brands are leaning towards more remarkable and unusual flavor hybrids, as well as stronger taste experiences (hot, sweet, savory, etc.), while sour options are also surging in popularity. Well-established sweet and salty combinations are being joined by a whole raft of other hybrid flavor solutions.
  • Sophisticated Touch. Established flavors perceived to be dull are being reinvented, often in much more complex and sophisticated combinations. Notice how traditional coffee flavor is now cold brew and often with layers of flavor, such as caramel latte.
  • Cultural Celebration. Consumers regard themselves as world citizens and are increasingly interested in diverse flavors inspired by foreign cuisines. Southeast Asian, East Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors are more in evidence in traditional and familiar Western foods and beverages.
  • Fifth Dimension. Umami is the fifth basic taste after sweet, sour, bitter and salty but unlike the others, it’s hard to define. Often described as savory, meaty deliciousness, it comes down to the taste of glutamates on our tongue. Western awareness remains low, but the rising demand for exotic flavors and convenient home cooking is driving growth of launches with an umami claim. This presents an opportunity for more savory flavors in dairy applications. 

Fluid Milk Innovation Accelerator Competition

Consumer’s changing lifestyles have increased the demand for healthy food and beverage options that align with consumer values. While milk is the original functional beverage, the unique wholesome values of milk have been overlooked in our busy, chaotic lives. In response, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has launched The Real California Milk Accelerator to inspire new ideas integrating the values of fluid milk into contemporary products and provide the resources to help bring them to market.

With more than $450,000 in prizes, the contest combines two of California’s great natural resources: high-quality, sustainable fluid milk and the insatiable California entrepreneurial spirit. The competition aims to inspire innovation and investment in fluid milk products, packaging and capacity within California by connecting the dots between manufacturers, producers, investors, ideas and entrepreneurs.

“Consumers are looking for beverages that support their wellness goals while also fitting into their evolving lifestyles. No other food in nature exists to provide the nutritional value of milk with its unique flavor and functionality. Milk is a perfect ingredient in products developed for the way we live today,” says John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB. “Our goal is to drive innovation and help startups clear the hurdles to bringing these products to market.”

Through The Real California Milk Accelerator, the CMAB is seeking high-growth potential liquid milk product concepts, with milk making up at least 50% of their formula. The applicants will need to commit to producing the product in California, should they win the competition.

Up to eight applicants will receive $25,000 worth of support each, to develop a protocept, while receiving elite mentorship from marketing, packaging and distribution experts. This includes a business development trip to tour dairy farms and production facilities and to meet with industry leaders to help drive success of their new venture. The winner will receive up to $250,000 worth of additional support to get their new product to market.

Competition rules and application documents are available at HERE. The deadline for application is August 31, 2019.

Get ready. Get set. Go!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Reducing Sugar in Dairy Products Often Requires a Multi-Prong Approach

Less sugar is the norm. Consumers are reading labels and many use the sugar—and added sugar--content of foods as basis for the decision to purchase and consume.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey shows that four out of five (80%) shoppers are limiting or avoiding sugars in foods. A higher percentage of 65-plus years old consumers use the Nutrition Facts to choose products with lower sugar.

This IFIC data is reinforced by Innova Market Insights’ research showing one in two U.S. Baby Boomers has been reducing sugar intake or buying more reduced-sugar products, while two in five are cutting back on their consumption of sweet snacks. This includes ice cream.

This trend is supported by research into the typical shopping basket.

“Boomers are below-average purchasers of certain sweet products such as chocolate, desserts, ice cream and snack bars,” says Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “In contrast, they are markedly more important in the yogurt, sweet baked goods and breakfast cereals categories, so these could offer opportunities for sugar reduction.”

The U.S. yogurt category is already seeing high levels of low/no sugar development, with 20% of all launches in 2018 carrying such claims, up from just 4% in 2013, according to Innova data.

Lower-sugar dairy-based beverages, on the other hand, present a growth opportunity when targeting Millennials. This includes less-sugar dairy-based beverages, such as flavored milk, smoothies, lattes and nutritional beverages.

That’s beverages play an immense role in Millennials’ lives, ranging from occasions orienting to indulgence, discovery, and health and wellness to ones focusing on convenient satiety. Seventy three percent of Millennials always have a beverage on hand, compared to 63% of Gen X and 58% of Boomers, according to The Hartman Group. That’s a lot of beverages being consumed. With less sugar, dairy-based options run a greater chance of being on the menu.

Indeed, Millennials have a broad range of beverage aspirations. The desire to drink more water and drink less soda and less sugar are linked to their health and wellness goals.

Pillars is the perfect example of a dairy beverage designed to appeal to Millennials, Baby Boomers and everyone in between. (That’s Gen X and includes me, the ignored generation.)

Pillars Drinkable Greek Yogurt rolled out about three years ago and continues to gain distribution across the country. The company is now adding Peach to its original five flavors: Coconut, Mixed Berry, Strawberry & Banana, and Vanilla. Each 12-ounce single-serve bottle of any flavor contains 100 calories, no fat, 18 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar—with no added sugars--and 3 grams of fiber. The product relies on mildly cultured nonfat yogurt, quality organic fruit purees, fibers and organic stevia to achieve this low sugar content. Product claims include being made with milk from grass-fed cows, non-GMO, containing live and active probiotic cultures and containing prebiotic fiber. For more information, link HERE.

There are many approaches to reducing sugar in dairy foods. Industry experts recently conducted a review of ingredient and processing opportunities to reduce sugar in dairy products. The analysis “Invited review: Sugar reduction in dairy products,” was published in the October 2018 issue of Journal of Dairy Science. Link HERE to read it.

They specifically explored technologies to reduce sugar in ice cream, yogurt and flavored milk without sacrificing flavor.

“Dairy foods represent a large market,” explained lead investigator MaryAnne Drake, professor, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University. “The dilemma of how to reduce sugar content without sacrificing flavor and negatively affecting product sales is challenging, as sugar plays an important role in dairy foods, not only in flavor, but also in texture, color and viscosity. Replacing sugar can have negative effects, making substitution inherently difficult.”

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey

Reducing sugar in dairy products often requires a multi-prong approach. That’s because when you take out sugar, it’s not just sweetness that is impacted. Further, when replacing sweetness, it’s important to understand how other ingredients in the matrix impact sensory perception. This includes texturants, fat and even the flavor system.

Dr. Drake and the other researchers identified numerous promising sugar-reduction technologies, including hydrolysis of lactose, ultrafiltration and alternative sweeteners, often in combination.

There’s also opportunity with sweet flavor modifiers. In fermented dairy foods, cultures can impact mouthfeel as well as acidity, which in turn influences sweetness perception.

Allulose presents one of the newest and possibly biggest opportunities for sugar reduction in dairy foods. This rare sugar tastes and functions similar to sugar while adding almost no calories. And since April 17, 2019, Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance allows allulose to be excluded from the total sugars declaration and added sugars declaration on the Nutrition Facts label. Allulose has a similar taste profile to sugar and is 70% as sweet. To read more, link HERE.

“Understanding current sugar-reduction techniques, research and consumer response to sugar reduction in dairy products is important for dairy manufacturers in order to design and produce sugar-reduced products,” according to Dr. Drake. “Sugar reduction is an inherently difficult task due to the many functions of sugar in food products, but progress is being made in developing products acceptable to consumers.”

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Make Anuga 2019 your Dairy Foods Innovation Destination, October 5-9 in Cologne, Germany
Anuga, the world’s leading food fair for the retail trade and the foodservice and catering markets, celebrates 100 years of food innovation since its first exposition in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1919. A lot has changed in terms of trends and technology, but one thing that has remained constant is consumers’ desire for delicious and nutritious food and beverage.

That will be the focus of the 35th installment of Anuga, which will take place at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, Oct. 5-9, 2019. This biennial event is a central business and communications platform for all players involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of food and beverage. It’s where new products make their debut to complement today’s and tomorrow’s trends. For many product developers, it’s where they go to observe innovations and generate ideas for the future.

Dairy—butter, cheese, ice cream, milk, yogurt and more—have a very strong presence at Anuga 2019. There’s an entire hall dedicated just to dairy! Plus, ice cream can be found in the frozen hall, smoothies and lattes in the beverage hall, and all types of international innovations in the various country pavilions and the specialty foods halls.

The 2017 expo attracted nearly 165,000 trade visitors from about 200 countries exploring the more than 7,400 exhibitors. Event organizers anticipate breaking this record in 2019, as Cologne continues to attract buyers and sellers from all countries around the world.

Anuga is best described as 10 trade shows under one roof, as the exposition is a well-arranged layout divided up into themed areas. The halls are: 1) Bread & Bakery, 2) Chilled & Fresh Food, 3) Culinary Concepts, 4) Dairy, 5) Drinks, 6) Fine Food, 7) Frozen Food, 8) Meat, 9) Hot Beverages and 10) Organic. For the first time Anuga is offering participation opportunities for start-up companies in special pavilions located in each of the show halls.

Also new for 2019 is the Boulevard of Inspiration, which will showcase new products as well as house the Anuga Trend Zone, a program stage where experts from Innova Market Insights and Euromonitor will present an analyses on the developments in the food and beverage industry. In addition, there will be a strong focus on the future of food at a platform called Anuga Horizon 2050. Here visitors will be able to explore new technologies, solutions and industry innovations focused on startups, sustainability, alternative proteins and social media.

Have an innovation you believe deserves global recognition? The most important new products of Anuga 2019 will be presented in the “Anuga taste Innovation Show” special event. An expert jury comprising of journalists and market researchers will select the industry’s top innovations from among all of the exhibitors’ new products. During the trade fair, the results will be presented in a special exhibit.

Link HERE for more information on the “Anuga taste Innovation Show” special event.

The following trends will be prominent at Anuga 2019.
  • Free-from products. Free-from claims continue to be popular across all food segments. In 2018, 23% of all new foods carried a free-from claim, according to Innova Market Insights. Gluten-free products stand out within this group, with more than half (58%) of all free-from products being gluten-free products. Vegan claims, which are basically animal-free foods, showed an average annual increase of 30% since 2014. Europe ranks first in the number of new free-from products rolled out last year.
  • Halal food. Halal-certified food that corresponds to Islamic dietary rules is gaining significance around the world. The increasing demand for halal ready-made products in the Near East, combined with the growing demand in the West, is leading to strong growth and a record number of new product introductions. 
  • Kosher products. The demand for kosher products is also growing. The distribution of these foodstuffs, which correspond with Jewish dietary rules, is increasing, according to data provided by Innova Market Insights. In 2018, 33% of kosher products were also gluten-free, 25% were free of genetic modifications and 22% carried a “without additives and preservatives” claim. Most kosher claims are found on bakery products, sauces and snacks.
  • Non-GMO claims. More than 5% of global new products in 2018 carried a non-GMO claim, which corresponds to an average annual growth of 14% since 2014. Over the past years, North America has taken over from Europe as the leading market region for non-GMO claims. Growth has also been recorded in Latin America. Most of the newly introduced non-GMO products fall under the categories of bakery products, dairy products and snacks, whereby the overall penetration of such claims is highest in cereals and baby/toddler foods. 
  • Organic products. The percentage of new products that fall under the organic segment grew from 8.8% of the new introductions in 2014 to 10.5% in 2018. In Europe, with an average annual growth of 15.5%, the share of organic claims among newly introduced European foodstuffs is even more significant. In 2018, 58% of all new introductions with an organic seal occurred in Europe and 22% were introduced in North America. The fastest-growing category is snacks, with an average annual growth of 18.6% from 2014 to 2018. At Anuga Organic and the Anuga Organic Market, trade visitors will find a wide range of organic products from Germany and abroad with a clear focus on export.
  • Products with protected designation of origin. Shoppers increasingly want to know how their food is produced, where it comes from and the sourcing/processing of individual ingredients. Locally and regionally produced foods are perceived as more trustworthy by many consumers. Certificates of origin, such as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) enhance the image of traditionally manufactured products and underline their origin and quality. This labeling will be prominent throughout Anuga 2019, especially in the international pavilions where manufacturers take pride in the traditional recipes and protected procurement and processing methods. 
  • Ready-to-eat foods. Today’s consumers are looking for fast, convenient and healthy meal and snack solutions that suit their busy lifestyles. This is particularly true for snacks, where there’s an increase in premium, authentic and ethnic recipes. Among all convenience foods, protein and fiber content claims are a priority, as there’s increased interest in satiation and weight management. 
  • Superfoods. Highly nutritious foodstuffs with added value in terms of contributing to health and well-being are considered superfoods. The number of newly introduced foodstuffs that are marketed as superfoods experienced an average annual growth of 12% from 2014 to 2018. Some of the most popular superfoods are grains, nuts and seeds, which are appearing in all types of food applications, including baked goods, snack foods, meat and dairy alternatives, and beverages.
  • Products based on fair trade. Fairtrade focuses on the international development, social equity and fair economic profits. Although it is still a niche market--less than 1% of all newly introduced foodstuffs displayed a fairtrade claim in 2018--they recorded a stable average annual growth of 6% from 2014 to 2018. Sweets and hot drinks are the two main categories for fairtrade certification.
  • Plan to attend Anuga 2019 this October. Link HERE for more information. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Co-Packer Considerations

The dairy foods industry is overflowing with entrepreneurs, which is a beautiful thing. Innovative product development and healthy competition keeps the dairy case exciting and consumers interested in all things dairy.

Many startups rely on co-packers to manufacture and distribute product. And, many times, these players ask for my advice and for recommendations. The calls and emails have been more frequent lately, which is exciting in terms of future innovations rolling into the marketplace.

The frequency of communication makes me think it’s a good time to discuss the variables to consider when shopping for a co-packer
Early in the process of innovation, startups must decide whether they want to invest in processing, packaging and warehousing (to have control over the operation as well as secure any proprietary technology) or to partner with a contract manufacturer, a.k.a. a co-packer.

More times than not, entrepreneurs and smaller manufacturers choose to partner with an expert to manufacture their products. There are many reasons why this is the smarter option.

The most obvious reason is that this option reduces capital investment and assists with cash flow, freeing up dollars for marketing efforts to build brand awareness. Co-packers are also experts at what they do. This frees up man power and brain time, reducing energy spent on learning the process and troubleshooting common production issues.

Before you begin interviewing potential co-packer partners, it is paramount that you identify those criteria that are non-negotiable and those where there’s flexibility. Keep in mind, co-packers vary in capabilities. Decide if you want to source ingredients and packaging, or if you prefer the co-packer do this for possible bulk pricing benefits.

Speaking of pricing, determine your cost structure. Discuss potential hidden expenses.
Set quality standards. Identify product and package specifications, including shelf life requirements, as well as certifications such as allergen-free lines, kosher, organic, etc.

Safety, quality and record keeping are not negotiable in this day and age. Do your homework. Evaluate the co-packer’s safety and sanitation procedures. Do they have a HACCP plan? Are they compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act? Is the manufacturing facility regularly audited by an accredited firm? Is the co-packer prepared to properly handle a recall?

Ask for referrals. Find out how reliable the co-packer is for scheduling production. How far in advance do you need to confirm schedules? 

Then there’s that gut feel we all have when doing business. Do you feel that the co-packer will work with you when issues arise? Troubleshoot with you? Communicate in a timely manner? In general, the more transparent a co-packer is willing to be, the more trustworthy the partnership will be. This is even more important when proximity is an issue.

Remember, if you are prepared and do your homework, it will be easier to identify the best co-packer for your innovation. Your chance of success increases.

Link HERE to a list of co-packers that specialize in milk and dairy foods manufacturing.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

It’s a Game-Changing Day in the Dairy Industry: Say Hello to the Industry’s First Fresh Milk and Plant Blended Beverage (A Daily Dose of Dairy/ exclusive)

It takes a lot for me to say wow. I’m rolling out the red carpet for this innovation. And guess what? I knew about it for a few months and was able to keep a secret!

The highly creative team at Live Real Farms, a new brand owned and managed by Dairy Farmers of America, is rolling out what I believe is the first fresh milk blended beverage in the marketplace. The company is combining the best of pure dairy with almonds or oats to make Live Real Farms Dairy Plus Milk Blends.

Live Real Farms, owned by more than 8,000 family-farms across the U.S. and inspired by the wonder of real--real food, real dairy and real nourishment—just started shipping the Dairy + Blends beverages throughout Minnesota. Distribution will expand in the fall and hopefully this milk plus plant beverage will find its way to refrigerators across the country.

Using a unique blending process, Live Real Farms takes nature’s pure milk from 100% family-owned farms and creates a whole new milk taste and texture with just the right amount of sweetness. The combination of the flavor of almonds or oats that consumers love with the protein power of dairy will satisfy the demands of families seeking the best of both worlds!

The new beverage comes in five lactose-free varieties. They are:
  • Dairy Plus Almond-Original: 70 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 6 grams sugar (no added sugars) and 5 grams protein
  • Dairy Plus Almond-Unsweetened Vanilla: 70 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 6 grams sugar (no added sugars) and 5 grams protein
  • Dairy Plus Almond-Sweetened Vanilla: 110 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 16 grams sugar (10 grams are added sugars) and 5 grams protein
  • Dairy Plus Almond-Chocolate: 140 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 23 grams sugar (17 grams are added sugars) and 5 grams protein
  • Dairy Plus Oat-Original: 110 calories, 2 grams fat, 8 grams sugar (2 grams are added sugars) and 5 grams protein
The inclusion of the lactase enzyme allows for the lactose-free claim, which is important to many shoppers. The beverage is also free of artificial colors and flavors, another desirable product claim.

A new advertising campaign highlighting the taste, nutrition and versatility of this new beverage is breaking in Minnesota. The message is that the beverage is a: “Purely Perfect New Blend.” I agree.

To learn more and view a video on the new beverage line, link HERE.

Blends keep milk in the diet while also appealing to the growing number of consumers who want to include more plant-based foods in their diet.

A recent review of literature published in Advances in Nutrition showed that adequate consumption of milk and dairy products at different life stages can help prevent various chronic diseases. The review was coordinated by Professor Angel Gil of the University of Granada and Professor Rosa Ortega of the Complutense University of Madrid. The study reviews worldwide scientific literature on the role of dairy products in health and in the prevention of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome, colon or bladder cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It also examines the effects of dairy products on growth, bone mineral density, generation of muscle mass, and during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

To read more, link HERE.

Congrats to the creative team at Live Real Farms! This is what innovation is all about!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dairy Innovation on the Global Stage

“Optimism in the midst of chaos.” That’s the current global dairy outlook according to Saskia van Battum, analyst-dairy, RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, who spoke at the 2019 Global Dairy Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 26, 2019. Seventeen of the 20 global dairy players are Rabobank’s clients, with whom the bank has committed € 22.5 billion, representing 22% of its food and agribusiness loan portfolio. The company believes there’s room for growth through innovation.

Anne Wong-Erven, insight and advisory director, Zenith, added, “Milk consumption has continued to increase over the past 10 years, reaching 277 billion liters in 2018. Developing markets are increasing per-capita consumption, but developed markets are struggling to increase consumption. Asia Pacific holds the largest global consumption volume share.”

The way to increase dairy intake is through innovation. And that’s what was on stage at the Congress, where The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2019 were presented. U.K.-based FoodBev Media has organized and presented this award for the past 13 years. Every year, some of the biggest, most world-renowned brands and groundbreaking new start-ups enter the awards, highlighting their newest innovations on this global platform. This year there were 167 entries from 19 countries.

“In a challenging year for the dairy industry, we have seen a broad range of innovation within the entries for the 13th annual World Dairy Innovation Awards as brands continue to find creative solutions,” said FoodBev Media marketing manager Matt Ferris. “Once again, we are fascinated by the level of innovation, from the datafication of agriculture to advance sustainable production practices, to the new flavors, concepts and modernized manufacturing technologies designed to give consumers more choice and aid digestive wellness.”

Below is the complete list of winners, including some descriptions. To learn more about the contest, to review the list of finalists in all 22 categories and to watch a video of the winning products, link HERE.

Best allergy-friendly dairy or dairy alternative product
  • Heilongjiang Yeeper Dairy Group – Bekari Growing-up Formula Sheep Milk Powder

Best brand extension or reformulation
  • Icelandic Provisions – Krímí Skyr: whole milk yogurt prepared using the Icelandic tradition of pouring whole cream on skyr and adding freshly foraged ingredients for a decadent treat. The name Krímí is a play on words. It’s how an Icelander might write out the English word “creamy.” Icelanders like to “Icelandicize” words when necessary and Krímí is the perfect example. Each of the four launch flavors has a carefully curated ingredient profile. Varieties are: Chocolate Coconut, Mixed Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb and Vanilla Bean. Like all Icelandic Provisions products, Krímí Skyr is made with preserved and treasured heirloom skyr cultures and local milk from cows on a largely grass-filled diet. Icelandic Provisions does not contain artificial preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors or colors. Products are also sweetened with just a “little bit” of cane sugar, with the amount stated on front panels.

Best butter/dairy spread
  • Agropur – Natrel Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip: blended low-fat cottage cheese that functions as both a dip and spread. The curds and cream are whipped to a smooth, creamy texture and come Plain or with seasonings. The two seasoned varieties are Chive & Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper. High in protein and low in calories, a 2-tablespoon (30 grams) serving contains 25 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 3 grams of protein. 

Best cheese
  • Grandvewe Cheeses – Gin Herbalist: upcycled whey from sheep’s milk cheese gets fermented into alcohol, essentially turning cheese waste (whey) into a beverage. To continue the upcycle process, the company collects the botanical waste from the gin production and coats the outside of a cheese with the spent Australian native botanicals. This cheese has a unique gin flavor. When young, it is firm and moist with citrus flavors and a slightly sour tang. With age the texture becomes softer, absorbing the savory and herbaceous flavors of the rind. This results in a delicate balance with the warm bright sheepy quality of the interior paste. 
Best children’s dairy
  • Junlebao Dairy – LePlatinum K2 Growing-up Milk Formula
Best dairy alternative
  • Happy Cheeze GmbH – Happy White: The Camembert Alternative
Best dairy dessert
  • Nightfood – Nightfood Ice Cream 

Best dairy drink
  • Hartshorn Distillery – Sheep Whey Vodka
Best dairy ingredient
  • Chr. Hansen – Sweety Y-1 Culture

Best dairy snack
  • siggi’s – Simple Sides: whole milk yogurt with a side compartment of simple, no-added-sugar mix-ins. The four varieties are: honey yogurt with dried figs & walnuts, plain yogurt with muesli & currants, vanilla yogurt with almonds & dried cherries, and vanilla yogurt with dried coconut & cacao nibs. The product varieties contain, on average, 15 grams of protein and 11 grams of sugar per 5.3-ounce serving, offering a more positive nutritional profile amidst the traditionally sugar-filled yogurt with mix-ins product segment, which averages 18 grams of sugar per 5.3-ounce serving, according to the company.
“Our mission has always been to provide yogurts that are lower in sugar, have a simple ingredient list and taste great,” said Siggi Hilmarsson, founder. “This new launch follows the same philosophy. Yogurt with crunchy, tasty toppings as a side has become a popular snack among consumers in recent years. However many of those offerings are sadly more comparable to sugary treats than wholesome snacks.”

Best dairy parlour innovation
  • Yoghurt Barn – Yoghurt Parlour

Best dairy protein product
  • Bam Life – Bam Organic: an all-natural high-protein milk shake. Each single-serve carton contains 25 grams of protein and is made with only five ingredients: organic British milk and milk protein, organic honey, organic banana and organic corn flour.
Best functional dairy
  • Grandvewe Cheeses – Fresh Curd with Probiotics
Best ice cream/frozen yogurt
  • Nightfood – Nightfood Ice Cream: sleep-friendly flavors of ice cream. Each pint has a fun, nighttime-themed name, and delivers ice cream indulgence with a sleep-friendly recipe for both kids and adults. The eight flavors are: After-Dinner Mint Chip, Breakfast in Bed (maple-flavored waffle), Cherry Eclipse, Cold-Brew Decaf, Cookies n’ Dreams, Full Moon Vanilla, Midnight Chocolate and Milk & Cookie Dough. NightFood’s team of sleep experts made sleep-friendly decisions regarding the recipe, according to Sean Folkson, CEO. This means that the coffee ice cream is decaf. Cherry Eclipse is made with nutrient-rich tart cherries, one of the few foods naturally high in melatonin (the hormone that triggers sleep). The chocolate-type flavors rely on a patented cocoa-based ingredient that tastes just like chocolate but without the caffeine kick. The ice cream has a balance of fiber, protein and (less) sugar, which its scientific advisors helped formulate. Ingredients include a protein that’s relatively low in lactose (milk protein isolate), as well as minerals, amino acids and enzymes they say aid sleep and reduce acid reflux. Chicory root contributes fiber, and in combination with monk fruit extract, keeps sugar content low. A half-cup serving contains 70 to 100 calories, 1.5 to 2.5 grams of fat, 6 to 7 grams of protein, 6 to 10 grams of sugar and 3 to 5 grams of fiber, depending on variety. 
Best infant nutrition
  • Löwenzahn Organics – Infant Formula
Best machinery/equipment innovation
  • Cheese Grotto – the wine cellar for cheese
Best manufacturing/processing innovation
  • Junlebao Dairy – VITARESH INF009S Technology
Best marketing campaign or initiative
  • Les Producteurs de lait du Québec – Solide Liquide 2018
Best new brand/business
  • Yaar Bars – Yaar Bars: chilled Belgian chocolate-covered quark snacking bars. The mild, creamy quark comes in Cloudberry, Toffee and Vanilla flavors. The smooth center is described as having a thick and creamy taste like yogurt and the texture of cheesecake. The bars are under 140 calories, gluten-free and free from artificial colors, additives and preservatives.
Best packaging design
  • Elopak – Aseptic Pure-Pak Sense Carton with Natural Brown Board
Best sustainability/CSR initiative
  • Valio – 100% Plant-based Cartons
Best yogurt
  • Icelandic Provisions – Krímí Skyr
There will not be a Daily Dose of Dairy blog published on Friday, July 5, 2019, because of the Independence Day holiday. Cheers!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fresh Dairy—and Non-Dairy—Innovation Inspirations “Live from New York”

It’s Summer Fancy Food time in New York City. The expo kicks off Sunday, June 23, and runs until Tuesday, June 25, in The Javits Center. As has become tradition, I like to arrive a few days early to explore the culinary scene in the Big Apple. Here I share with you some observations from a day in Brooklyn.

Accompanying me was a grad student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who I am mentoring on ice cream trends. We walked 10 miles, more than 22,000 steps on Thursday and are ready for another day of exploration.

It’s been nice to have a set of fresh eyes during this foodie adventure. We agreed how refreshing it is for ice cream shops to be a destination for so many in New York. These are independents. Many have a number of shops scattered across the city. They are consistently busy.

Instead of meeting out for a coffee or a glass of wine, friends go for a scoop of ice cream. Taking the dog for an evening walk? Why not stop for a scoop of the flavor of the month?

In so many cities across the country, with my hometown Chicago no exception, ice cream shops are chains. The product has been commoditized. The originality and selection of local ingredients is gone. Not in the New York metro area! (Another future blog will provide flavor inspiration. Here’s just a peak of what we tried.)

Good ice cream is a real thing for New Yorkers.

After way too long of being dissatisfied with the pint she was buying from her local bodega--pints had shrunk, the ice cream was no longer natural and flavors were not exciting anymore--Diana Hardeman took matters into her own hands. In the summer of 2009, she bought a small home ice cream machine, got in touch with local farms and started crafting what she calls her “dream ‘screams.” These were flavors she only dreamed about until now. MilkMade officially launched a few months later

Hardeman is a pioneer of the New York food movement and helped make New York City an ice cream connoisseur’s destination. While New York State produces less than half the milk that comes out of California and Wisconsin—the number-one and two milk producing-states—by far, it leads in premium ice cream innovation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Wisconsin fried cheese curds. But there’s something about freshly churned ice cream made with local ingredients. It’s health food in New York City. It destresses, satisfies and delivers a decent dose of calcium and protein.

The MilkMade Brooklyn Tasting Room opened in the summer of 2015. The tasting room is exactly that--a place for ice cream lovers to taste, meet the chefs and learn more about the company’s small-batch production process.

Each month, the Milkmaids handcraft and hand-pack each pint, then head out on foot, bike, subway, skateboard, etc., to hand-deliver the freshly churned product right to door. Product may also be shipped outside of New York City.

Photo source: Eight Turn Crepe

The MilkMade Tasting Room offers a lineup of six “Seasonal ‘Screams” that rotate monthly. Hardeman and her culinary team strive for constant innovation and take inspiration from everything around—what’s fresh at the greenmarket, events around the city, topical news, even their favorite music.

In honor of the annual Puerto Rican parade, for example, the chefs recreated Quesitos de Guayaba, a popular Puerto Rican baked dessert that features cream cheese pastry with guava. The ice cream version is cream cheese ice cream with real chunks of cream cheese and a guava swirl along with pastry pieces.

This is what ice cream is all about.

Even milk and yogurt have a fresh face in New York. There are numerous milk and cereal bars, where ice cream and yogurt are also available for getting topped by your favorite morning bowl food.

Fresh yogurt is the star at Eight Turn Crepe, where both sweet and savory concoctions are served in a hand-made rice crêpe. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, this Japanese-style hand-held meal doubles as a work of art.

Yogurt gets whipped with custard and combined with fruits, nuts and all types of goodies. Ice cream is also an option.

Then there’s The Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain where one can enjoy a traditional Brooklyn Egg Cream, which is made with cold whole milk, sweetened syrup and seltzer. There’s also hand-scooped milkshakes, sundaes and hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches.

The numerous specialty food stores located throughout New York City prepare many fresh offerings featuring dairy. While most are likely not culturing cream cheese or yogurt in the back room, they are sourcing premium clean-label products from dairy processors.

Check out this dessert from BKLTN Larder. The Berries & Ginger variety features fresh blueberries and strawberries atop cream cheese blended with spices. It can be consumed with a spoon right from the container or spread on toast or crackers.

Local baker Artuso Pastry is rolling out Cannoli Crisps. This dome-topped container has cinnamon crisps in the bottom that are intended for dipping into the dome of vanilla-flavored ricotta impastata cheese with chocolate chips.

The last observation to share today is a concept slowing rolling out to Whole Food Markets in select regions. We were lucky enough to find one. It’s the NüMilk machine, which allows shoppers to make their own non-dairy milk. Just grab a bottle. Hit a button. And you can get a freshly prepared quart of either almondmilk or oatmilk, original or sweetened.

If water, soft drinks and “nut milks” can be sold through a dispensing machine, why not milk?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Designing Dairy Products to Help Consumers Feel Good

A takeaway from IFT19, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and expo, was a growing interest in designing foods to help consumers feel good. This is consistent with research from Innova identifying “feeling good” as one of the top-10 trends for 2019.

Achieving “feeling good,” as it relates to food, has many meanings. In some instances, it’s the role that nutrition plays in physical health. Other times it may be comfort food impacting emotional well-being. Sometimes food calms, other times it may energize. Of course, satisfying and deliciousness almost always come into play.

One thing is for sure. A growing number of consumers recognize that feeling good comes from the inside out and digestive health influences both body and mind.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey shows that about one-fourth (23%) of all shoppers seek out foods for a health benefit. Of that segment, more than half are looking for digestive health benefits.

Data from NMI shows that nearly two out of five (39%) consumers are trying to manage digestive issues. Interestingly, it is younger millennials (20 to 26 years old) who are really on board with digestive health. These young adults are likely seeking out foods that help keep the good bacteria in their gut thriving.

Source: International Food Information Council Foundation

That’s what you get with probiotics and prebiotics. That’s what Activia Probiotic Dailies low-fat yogurt drinks deliver. If you have not explored Danone North America’s Activia website lately, link HERE. It’s really quite impressive. The Dailies contain billions of live and active probiotics, prebiotic fiber in the form of chicory root fiber and real ginger, all ingredients known to support gut health.

The brand educates the reader on probiotics and that all probiotics are not created equal, explaining that all yogurts contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, but not all yogurts contain probiotics. L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus are bacteria used to ferment milk to create acidic dairy products such as yogurt. On the other hand, probiotics are live friendly bacteria that have been scientifically studied and when consumed in sufficient amounts provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Activia yogurt contains two probiotics: Lactococcus lactis and Danone’s proprietary probiotic culture: Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010/CNCM I-2494.

Source: NMI

While all probiotics are not created equal, neither are prebiotics.

A review of the science of prebiotics was presented in a consensus statement developed by the International Scientific Association for Probiotic and Prebiotics (ISAPP) in 2017 and in a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2018. The consensus is: “A prebiotic is a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.”

According to this definition and the published clinical research, the only dietary fibers that can be called “scientifically proven prebiotics” are galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructans, such as inulin and oligofructose. This makes chicory root fiber a natural, plant-based prebiotic. It’s a fiber that’s been proven to help one “feel good.”

Source: International Food Information Council Foundation

While many consumers are still learning about fibers and prebiotics, their awareness of fiber and prebiotics is growing. The IFIC research shows that both fiber and prebiotics are increasingly recognized as being healthful.

Link HERE to download a white paper from BENEO explaining how chicory root fibers function as prebiotic fibers and assist with “feel good” perception. The company provides data measured scientifically by designated questionnaires addressing quality of life.

In addition to assisting with digestive health, there are other benefits to formulating dairy foods with chicory root fiber. Certain forms may replace fat and sugar in formulations, helping reduce caloric content without altering taste or texture. They also may contribute to balanced blood sugar levels, as well as support the absorption of essential minerals in food.

Probiotics and prebiotics help dairy foods marketers differentiate in the crowded refrigerator space. They add value to dairy foods and help today’s shoppers “feel good.” Sounds like a recipe for success!