Pumpkin everything is back.
Pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages are bountiful in the U.S. It’s impossible to ignore them. Retailers turn them into special displays throughout the store, with refrigerated and frozen end caps and coffin cases putting pumpkin in the spotlight. Dairy-based products are a dominating segment. From shelf-stable lattes and puddings, to refrigerated milks, yogurts and cheese (yes, cheese!), to frozen ice cream, pumpkin and dairy simply makes sense.
After all, what goes best with pumpkin pie? Fresh whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream and a tall glass of cold milk. No wonder Americans love pumpkin-flavored dairy foods.
And, what flavors go best with pumpkin and dairy? The top-five flavors, in no particular order, are bourbon, cinnamon, graham, maple and rum. Nutmeg and ginger are close runner-ups.
Check out new Pumpkin Spice Gouda from Beemster. It features the signature buttery, nutty flavor of Gouda packed full with the aromatic flavors of fall: clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. It is best served at room temperature but is also awesome warm, melted and gooey in recipes, according to the company. Try it griddled with ham or turkey, alongside raisin-nut bread or with a dollop of cranberry sauce or chutney. Think butternut squash mac and cheese.
New Belle Chevre Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese is handcrafted with all-natural pumpkin purée. The company blends the fresh tang of its cream cheese with pumpkin and warm, aromatic spices.
“It’s that time of year when change is in the air and consumers are looking for something new to spice up their food choices, literally,” says Tasia Malakasis, Belle Chevre CEO. “Pumpkin Spice has become so associated with the fall, and combines so well with dairy products, it was only natural for us to create our own adaptation.”
Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts is bringing its longtime seasonal-favorite pumpkin mochi flavor back to stores this month. The ultimate mindful indulgence of sweetened rice dough carefully wrapped around premium ice cream, bite-sized Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream contains 100 calories or less per serving, which is nearly two-thirds fewer calories than a traditional slice of pumpkin pie.
“We create truly authentic flavor experiences that bring to life the aspects of pumpkin pie that people love, down to the perfectly-spiced ice cream filling,” says Rick Schaffer, CEO of Bubbies Ice Cream. “This is one of those seasonal snacks that was made to be offered in pumpkin flavor.”
Baskin-Robbins is introducing a sweet spin on a classic with its newest flavor-of-the-month ice cream: Pumpkin Cheesecake. This seasonally inspired treat features pumpkin and cheesecake flavored ice creams with ginger snap cookie pieces and a cinnamon cream cheese flavored ribbon.
Photo source: Baskin-Robbins
Starbucks is adding a new fall flavor to its café menu--Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew—which joins Pumpkin Spice Latte. Both are made with real pumpkin and choice of whitener, but of course, dairy milk makes the most sense!
Since Pumpkin Spice Latte first made its debut in 2003, more than 424 million have been served in the U.S. Following in the footsteps of this iconic fall beverage, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is the first new pumpkin coffee beverage to join the Starbucks menu in 16 years and a testament to Starbucks customers’ love of cold coffee (50% of beverage orders are cold beverages, up from 37% in 2013). After trying 10 variations of the beverage, the Starbucks R&D team settled on a recipe that starts with Starbucks Cold Brew and vanilla, topped with pumpkin (dairy) cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice topping.
Pilot Flying J, the largest network of travel centers in North America, is debuting a new pumpkin drink this year: Pumpkin Maple Cappuccino. It’s clean and simple. The five-ingredient, all-natural flavored latte is brewed longer resulting in a sweeter, rich taste that doesn’t come with bitterness. The travel center’s popular pumpkin pie creamer has also returned to stores.
Dairy Consumption Continues to Grow in U.S.
It’s these types of innovations that keep dairy relevant to today’s consumers and contribute to the continued growth of dairy consumption. Data from the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that U.S. dairy consumption continues to grow. (See graph.) This is something that often goes unreported or is misreported. The fact is that dairy consumption, inclusive of milk, is growing in the U.S.
Survey Says: 86% of US Adults Prefer Dairy Milk and Large Margin Want Increased Milk Offerings in Schools
A new Morning Consult national tracking poll of 2,200 Americans points to a number of revealing consumer preferences for milk and related beverages. When given the option to choose among whole, reduced fat 2%, low fat 1%, skim, other (almond, soy, oat, other plant-based, lactose-free) or “do not consume” milk, respondents overwhelmingly chose 2% and whole milks because they believe they are most nutritious for themselves and their families. Further, 86% of U.S. adults prefer dairy milk over “other” beverages, including plant-based beverages. Additionally, by a margin of more than 2-1, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer low-fat flavored milks with school meals; and by a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals. The poll was conducted by Morning Consult in partnership with the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
- A whopping 67% of adults across key demographics believe 2% and whole milk are the most nutritious types of milk. Thirty-six percent of adults believe 2% milk is the most nutritious, while 31% believe whole milk is the most nutritious.
- At least 86% of adults prefer dairy milk compared to 10% who prefer “other” including plant-based beverages and lactose-free milk.
- Strong opinions about offering flavored milk in schools vastly outweigh strong opinions against. Half of the adults believe it is important that the public school their child attends offers low-fat flavored milk with school meals, while just 22% believe it is unimportant. Twenty-nine percent have no opinion.
- Adults feel similarly about fuller-fat milk with school meal. By a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals: 53% believe it is important that milks like 2% and whole are offered in schools, while just 18% feel it is unimportant. Currently, only low fat 1% and skim milks are allowed in schools.
- Overall, more women than men believe it is more important that their children have access to fuller-fat and flavored milks in school.
- Forty-two percent of SNAP participants prefer whole milk for themselves or their families. SNAP participants also report that they believe whole milk is the most nutritious (46%), the only demographic to do so. Of the 2,200 respondents, 336 self-identified as SNAP participants.
- Respondents with incomes under $50,000 (inclusive of 336 SNAP and 115 WIC participants, respectively, who self-identified) believe more strongly than those with higher incomes (above $50,000) that fuller-fat milks are most nutritious and prefer offering these options as well as low-fat flavored milks in schools for their children.
- Variety is key: More than three-quarters (77%) of adults found it important to have a variety of options to choose from when purchasing types of milk.
Can whole milk-based dairy foods be part of healthy eating patterns? Link HERE to read more from The National Dairy Council.
Dairy Farmers of America’s 2020 Accelerator Program.
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national cooperative owned by family farmers across the U.S., is beginning to recruit startups for its 2020 accelerator program, which helps mentor and grow companies in the areas of agriculture technology and dairy food products. For the 2020 program, DFA is seeking early-stage food product companies that are dairy-focused or dairy-based.
“For the food vertical, we’re looking to find companies that are doing new and interesting things with dairy as the main component,” says Doug Dresslaer, director of innovation at DFA. “With ag tech, our goal is to identify companies with applications or technologies that can help us improve processes or reduce margins to ultimately enhance productivity on our members’ farms.”
This is a 90-day immersive program, with a combination of on-site meetings and virtual programs to provide training, growth opportunities and mentorship. Most startup participants typically spend about four weeks in Kansas City, where DFA is headquartered. Throughout the program, startups have numerous opportunities to meet with a variety of DFA executives and other relevant investors and industry leaders. Participants also receive guidance and advice on business development, product development, marketing and other key aspects of startup growth.
Dresslaer adds, “Ultimately, we’re looking for companies where we see long-term potential, as the end goal is to hopefully help and partner with them in some way.”
For more information, link HERE.
Need Ice Cream Innovation Ideas?
The annual Frozen Dessert Center Conference is designed as a means of disseminating current, fundamental science and principles that dictate the successful manufacture of frozen desserts. Held annually at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and stewarded by the Frozen Dessert Center, attendees should expect to learn of complex phenomena of frozen desserts based on physical, chemical, engineering and biological principles. For more information, link HERE.