Thursday, December 12, 2013

Promote Dairy This Holiday (There’s Still Time!)…and Let’s Talk About 2014!

To all Daily Dose of Dairy subscribers:
Happy Holidays to you and yours!

It’s been an amazing year building and the Daily Dose of Dairy. Thanks to all loyal subscribers and a warm welcome to the newer ones! You are part of a rapidly growing global community of 5,000-plus professionals involved in the development, production, distribution, marketing and merchandising of dairy products and related beverages. A special thanks to advertisers and blog sponsors for making BerryOnDairy and the Daily Dose of Dairy possible.

To the nearly 3,500 dairy products formulator and marketer subscribers: Please make sure you thank the businesses listed below. Please send an email to your sales rep and say “Happy Holidays! Thanks for supporting BerryOnDairy and the Daily Dose of Dairy.” You can also link to their websites by clicking on the company name.

This will be the last Friday blog of 2013. The Daily Dose of Dairy will continue to feature a new product every Monday through Thursday during the holiday season. Friday blogs will resume January 10th.
Here are some blog topics to look forward to in the first quarter of 2014:
  • Ice Cream Innovations 2014
  • Flavor Forecast
  • Clean-Label Product Development
  • Formulating for Specific Demographics
  • Tools for Promoting Dairy Foods
  • Chocolate, Chocolate and More Chocolate
Some of these blogs are still available for sponsorship, and a limited number of website banner ads are available too. If you are a supplier to the dairy industry and want to reach the key folks involved in dairy foods innovations, please consider using BerryOnDairy and the Daily Dose of Dairy as part of your marketing plan. For more information, including available sponsorships and banner spots, as well as a rate card, please contact me HERE

Finally, as promised in today’s blog headline--Promote Dairy This Holiday (There’s Still Time!)—check out this new REAL Seal dairy products holiday promotional video. You can view it HERE

Thanks goes to:

Allen Flavors
The International Dairy Foods Association
Pecan Deluxe
S&D Coffee and Tea  
Sensory Effects
Tree Top

Have a Merry Dairy Berry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With warm wishes, and a glass of cookies and milk,
Donna Berry (on Dairy)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dairy Foods Holiday Inspirations-Part 3 (Let’s Talk about Eggnog)

As the end of 2013 quickly approaches and we all begin to get caught up in the holiday frenzy, The Daily Dose of Dairy Friday blog will tone down a bit until we welcome in the New Year. For the remaining Fridays in 2013, this blog spot will showcase dairy foods and marketing programs new to this holiday season. Hopefully these innovations will spark some ideas you can still implement this year or retain and use for next year.
Have something to share? Please email it to me HERE.

I have not had a glass of eggnog in probably 25 years…and today, after visiting the new Plum Market that opened in Chicago, I will have to revisit this classic holiday beverage thanks to an amazing product I tasted. The product comes from Traderspoint Creamery, which is known for its organic whole milk dairy products made from 100% Grassfed milk and sold in glass packaging. 

Marketed as “Traditional Egg Nog” with a tagline of “Treat Yourself to Real Egg Nog,” I decided to do just that. Honestly, I really was curious as to how much of a treat this 4.5-fluid-ounce glass jar that cost $2.19 could be.

Daily Dose of Dairy subscribers know that I seldom critique a product. I truly want this forum to be a source of new product information, not my opinion. But, oh my gosh, this product is delicious and worth every penny.

For starters, this eggnog’s richness comes from whole milk, cream and egg yolks. (The latter is a requirement in eggnog, per the Standard of Identity: Title 21, Part 131, Section 170 of the Code of Federal Regulations.) It’s not too thick from the addition of stabilizers.

It’s also not too sweet nor overly spiced. It achieves this flavor balance through the addition of evaporated cane juice, vanilla extract and a touch of nutmeg.

It contains a touch of carrageenan to build a bit of viscosity, but the drink truly is light and refreshing. These are not descriptors usually associated with eggnog…or at least not the eggnog I remember from my childhood.

I also like its natural color. Most eggnogs include annatto, turmeric or FD&C yellow to give it a more golden—but also artificial—yellow color. This one gets it slight yellow hue from egg yolks alone. 
It has one of the cleanest ingredient legends of all eggnogs that I am aware of. And that single-serve bottle contains 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 18 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein. Most regular eggnogs are much higher in calories, fat and sugar.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many Americans who like the traditional golden yellow, extra thick eggnog. But I’m guessing there are many (like me), who prefer something that tastes like grandma whipped it up in the kitchen, before she spiked it with rum!

This 4.5-fluid-ounce shot of eggnog served as dessert after my lunch salad. It was satisfying and delicious. I hope the company creates more flavored milk dessert shots. Maybe you will too!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dairy Foods Holiday Inspirations-Part 2

I hope all U.S. subscribers are having a lovely Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

As the end of 2013 quickly approaches and we all begin to get caught up in the holiday frenzy, The Daily Dose of Dairy Friday blog will tone down a bit until we welcome in the New Year. For the remaining Fridays in 2013, this blog spot will showcase dairy foods and marketing programs new to this holiday season. Hopefully these innovations will spark some ideas you can still implement this year or retain and use for next year.

Have something to share? Please email it to me HERE.

Give the Gift of Ice Cream

McConnell’s Ice Cream, a California dairy that has been making ice cream without any additives, preservatives or stabilizers since 1949, is promoting a gift of ice cream.

Winter Cranberry is new to the company’s holiday pint line.

Joining Egg Nog, Peppermint Stick and Pumpkin Pie, the holiday collection sells via the Internet for $40, plus $3 for shipping and handling. The collection ships overnight.

The ice cream is made from scratch with milk from local grass-fed cows and organic eggs from cage-free chickens.

These are the product descriptions:

WINTER CRANBERRY CHIP: Ripe, tartly sweet and slightly sour cranberries mated to the mouth-filling perfection of Guittard bittersweet and melted chocolate chip
PUMPKIN PIE: A seasonally delicious puree of roasted pumpkin, molasses, Sri Lankan cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and R.R. Lochhead vanilla
PEPPERMINT STICK: Organic peppermint candy infused with just a dash of R.R. Lochhead vanilla
EGG NOG: A savory, spicy mix of Sri Lankan cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, mated to caramelized R.R. Lochhead vanilla with just a smidgeon of rum-spiked sweetness

For more information, visit HERE.

Limited-Edition Cannella BellaVitano and Cognac BellaVitano Return for the 2013 Holiday Season

Sartori Company is releasing a limited quantity of Cannella BellaVitano and Cognac BellaVitano for the 2013 holiday season. Each cheese wheel is hand signed and numbered by a Sartori Master Cheesemaker.

Cannella BellaVitano was created by taking sweet, buttery BellaVitano, aged at least 15 months, and steeping it in a cinnamon liqueur.

“The smells and flavor of cinnamon give people a feeling of warmth over the holidays, which inspired me to create this unique holiday cheese,” says Sartori Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski. “Some small pieces on top of a slice of warm apple pie make for a mouthwatering experience.”

Cognac BellaVitano, the most premium Limited-Edition item, truly stands out as a cut above the rest.  The cheese itself is extra-aged; it matures for at least 18 months. After the aging process, it is submerged in a premium cognac and is only ready for sale when Sartori Master Cheesemakers believe it is just right. The end result is a unique and complex celebration of smoky, nutty, oaky flavors with toasted notes of vanilla and caramel from the cognac. In 2011, Cognac BellaVitano finished 3rd overall at the World Cheese Awards, the highest ever finish for an American artisan cheese.

These products are only available during the holiday season and can be purchased at select specialty cheese shops across the United States. Additionally, a limited supply of 4-ounce wedges are available for sale on the Sartori website cheese shop and will be included in an exclusive 2013 Sartori Limited Edition Gift Box this holiday season.

For more information, visit HERE.

New Artisanal Cheese Gifts

Hickory Farms, the specialty food and holiday gift retailer, opened more than 700 Holiday Market storefronts and kiosks for the 2013 holiday season.

This year is especially exciting as the company introduces Hickory Farms Reserve, a new collection that will delight even the most discerning foodies. These new gifts, available at and select stores, feature artisanal dry salami and eight all-natural cheeses handcrafted in Wisconsin by an award-winning master cheese maker.

These cheeses are:
  • Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika
  • Smoked Garlic Cheddar
  • Smoked Pepper Jack
  • Smoked Blue Cheese
  • Triple Creme Cheese
  • Classic Cheddar
  • 1-Year Aged Cheddar
  • 3-Year Aged Cheddar
In addition, Hickory Farms has expanded its offering of wine gift baskets at through a new partnership with One of these new gifts, Winter Wonderland Basket, features a balance of classic, savory favorites like Hickory Farms’ gold medal-winning Signature Summer Sausage and Smoked Gouda, complemented by some of their sweets, all paired perfectly with the lively character of Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay and the full, rich flavor of Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir.

For more information, visit HERE.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dairy Foods Holiday Inspirations-Part 1

As the end of 2013 quickly approaches and we all begin to get caught up in the holiday frenzy, The Daily Dose of Dairy Friday blog will tone down a bit until we welcome in the New Year. For the remaining Fridays in 2013, this blog spot will showcase dairy foods and marketing programs new to this holiday season. Hopefully these innovations will spark some ideas you can still implement this year or retain and use for next year.
Have something to share? Please email it to me HERE.

Medical Nutrition Expert and Registered Dietitian Has the Prescription to Trim the Trimmings, Beat the Bloat and Entertain Digestively Diverse Guests This Holiday Season 

As many of us know, the holidays can quickly go from “ho, ho, ho” to “ho, ho, oh no!” With so many rich foods to eat, it’s easy to over indulge and pay the price in the form of digestive distress, not to mention the stress of preparing a meal that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their dietary restrictions.

According to Registered Dietitian Tamara Freuman, who specializes in medical nutrition therapy for digestive disorders, ‘tis the season for taking a more proactive approach to preventing holiday bloat by including probiotic-rich dairy foods. One of her favorite sources is the Flourish custom blend of 10 live active probiotic cultures, which is only found in Green Valley Organics and Redwood Hill Farm dairy products.

For more information, visit HERE.

This holiday season, consumers can indulge their cravings consciously with a few simple swaps that will help trim down the trimmings, beat belly bloat, avoid digestive dilemmas and please every palate at the table.

“I recommend adding one-to-two daily doses of cultured, probiotic-rich dairy products to help boost the population of friendly bacteria in your digestive system during the holidays and Flourish is an excellent source,” says Freuman, who in addition to her clinical work is a gluten-free blogger for US NEWS & WORLD REPORT’s eat+run health page and hosts a popular blog devoted to healthy eating and gluten-free living at

“The diverse population of bacteria in your gut appear to have a hand in everything from keeping your digestive tract running smoothly and boosting immunity to how you metabolize sugar and manufacturing key vitamins to protect from harmful bacteria,” she says. 

What is Freuman’s go-to ingredient for healthy holiday eating and entertaining everyone can enjoy? The answer is kefir.

“Kefir is an even more convenient way to get the health benefits of probiotic-rich dairy,” she says. “Use plain kefir as a substitute for high-calorie, high-fat buttermilk, cream or condensed milk in all kinds of holiday recipes, from Old-Fashioned Brandied Pumpkin Pie and Holiday Eggnog to Creamy Parsnip Potato Mash.

“No one needs the 820 calories and 325 milligrams of cholesterol per cup that heavy cream brings to the table, and by replacing all dairy ingredients with lactose-free versions and swapping out the heavy cream for heart-healthy kefir or lactose-free sour cream, your dairy-friendly guests won’t notice any difference in taste or texture, but your lactose-intolerant guests will appreciate being able to partake in the full meal without paying for it later,” she says.

Promote probiotics this holiday season!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

U.S. Dairy Industry Highlights: Focus on the Retail Landscape and the Evolving Consumer

Photo Source: Promised Land Dairy

During the weeks leading up to the International Dairy Show, which wrapped up a week ago, a number of noteworthy news items were sent to me. I am rediscovering them as I slowly catch up on email. In case you missed them, please allow me to share.

Cross Merchandising of Dairy in the Supermarket

The Midwest Dairy Association, along with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, contributed cross-merchandising success tips to an article recently published in Progressive Grocer. The article highlights how dairy can be merchandised throughout the center store and other perimeter departments. This leads not only to increased sales of dairy products but all categories merchandised with dairy. The article can be accessed HERE.

 For more information on the Midwest Dairy Association, visit HERE.

For more information on the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, visit HERE.

Photo Source: Wegman’s

Groceries Become a Guy Thing

According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, food marketers are changing their products to quietly signal to men that they should eat them. This is especially trending in yogurt. Read the article HERE.

IDDBA’s What’s in Store 2014 Provides Sales and Trends Data

What’s in Store 2014, the latest edition of the annual trends publication of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), is now available. This 230-page report details consumer and industry trends affecting the in-store dairy case, cheese case, bakery, deli and foodservice departments. Its 200-plus tables, developed in cooperation with leading industry firms and associations, include department sales, per capita consumption, consumer preferences, system 2, UPC and private label sales data.

The top food and beverage trend is the consumer’s move toward wanting products that are fresh, more real and less processed. Health and indulgence are no longer considered mutually exclusive. Nutritional health is taking a backseat to foods that are less processed with easily identifiable and few ingredients. Taste and quality, and the indulgence surrounding those attributes, are now part of the health equation.

For more information, visit HERE.

From the Dairy Council of California’s Fall Nutrition Trends Newsletter
On Protein. Protein’s list of health benefits continues to grow, but unfortunately, dairy is not always recognized as a good source. The dairy industry has the power to change this…and we must act now.

Consumers are increasingly interested in protein for its long list of health benefits—from muscle building and exercise recovery to weight loss, satiety and healthy aging. Sixty-three percent of consumers reportedly consider protein when they purchase packaged foods and beverages. The benefits of protein extend from babies all the way to seniors, creating opportunities to target specific subgroups—teenage athletes, for example—with messages around protein’s health benefits.

Food manufacturers and commodity groups are piggybacking on this trend, with many companies adding extra protein to their products, hoping for higher sales. Protein substitutes and novel plant proteins are also emerging. Some tout the benefits of plant protein, challenging the traditional wisdom that animal protein is superior.

The protein trend is thought to be here to stay, with its preventative power against the burgeoning rates of obesity and diabetes. Consumers generally do not associate protein with dairy products, rather turning to meat, beans and eggs for their protein sources. Dairy Council of California has efforts aimed at educating health professional and consumer audiences about milk and dairy foods as a high-quality protein source. There are opportunities for the dairy industry to aggressively market products as being “good” or “excellent” sources of protein.

On Yogurt. Yogurt sales are stronger than ever. This is being driven by Greek yogurt and consumers’ increased understanding of probiotics. Young adults—those between 18 and 34 years of age—have largely driven this increase, seeking yogurt for its overall health benefits and as a breakfast food. In turn, young adults are feeding it to their children, fostering another generation of yogurt eaters.

Added sugars will be an issue with yogurt, as some public health professionals are labeling sugar “the new tobacco” and linking it to the obesity crisis. Keeping sugar levels to a minimum while preserving taste will help yogurt maintain its current health halo.

Many are seeking the benefits of probiotics in yogurt, which now extend beyond traditional immune system and intestinal benefits to effects such as decreasing obesity, reducing blood pressure, helping with satiety, minimizing anxiety and depression, enhancing brain function and even reducing breast cancer risk. While these benefits have not been proven beyond a doubt, some researchers are encouraging the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee to include probiotics in general recommendations for a healthy diet for overall—rather than specific—health benefits.

On Health. While obesity rates have stabilized for both adults and children, the incidence remains high. One-third of adults and 17% of children are classified as obese, and concerted public health efforts are aimed at reducing rates. The American Medical Association now officially recognizes obesity as a disease. Although recognition does not have legal implications, experts think it may open the door to reimbursement for prevention and treatment of overweight.

Concurrently, incidence of metabolic syndrome—the cluster of risk factors for heart disease that includes high blood pressure, overweight and unhealthy blood glucose and lipid levels—is dropping due to better control of symptoms such as blood pressure and cholesterol. However, incidence is still high at 23%, and efforts will continue to focus on prevention.

A number of observational studies continue to link higher milk and yogurt consumption to lower rates of metabolic syndrome, with components such as calcium, vitamin D, protein, dairy fat and trans-palmitoleic acid possibly acting as protective agents. Clinical trials and mechanistic studies are needed to support these findings; however, this could bear out to be very positive for the dairy industry.

Dairy Council of California continues to position milk and milk products as an irreplaceable part of a healthy diet that helps maintain body weight. Plans are in place to educate health professionals about dairy’s emerging benefits to metabolic syndrome.

For more information on the Dairy Council of California, visit HERE.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Top-10 Topics Abuzz the Floor of The International Dairy Show

Congratulations to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) on its very successful International Dairy Show that took place earlier this week in Chicago, my home town. It was so wonderful to see so many old friends and to make new friends.

For those of you who missed The Daily Dose of Dairy Live presentations on the show floor, you can view the slide shows HERE.

For best viewing, open on as large of a monitor as possible. You can find additional details on many of the products by accessing the product-specific tab on, which can found HERE.

These were the four presentations and their sponsors. Thank you very much to the sponsor-show exhibitors for making these presentations possible.

Top-10 Topics Abuzz on the Show Floor

1.    Cottage Cheese. During the reception on Sunday evening, friends at an East Coast dairy agreed that they believe the time is right for cottage cheese to make its comeback. Inherently an excellent source of high-quality protein, cottage cheese partners well with both sweet and savory inclusions and is readily adaptable to all types of single-serve containers. One supplier showcased cultures that assist with efficiently making consistent clean-label (stabilizer-free) cottage cheese.
2.    Lactose Free. Another supplier showcased enzymatic technology to reduce or eliminate lactose in cottage cheese, as well as most other dairy foods. There is high demand for lactose-free dairy foods in Europe and this is quickly trending to the United States. Here’s an added perk. When the disaccharide lactose is enzymatically broken down to galactose and glucose, its sweetness increases. This often allows for a reduction in added sugar…the next buzz.
3.    Lowering Added Sugars. In addition to breaking down lactose, there were a number of sweetening solutions showcased by suppliers. Their objective is to reduce total added sugars by optimizing sweetness through the use of alternative sweeteners, sometimes in conjunction with natural flavors. Intensely sweet nutritive sweeteners have a place in flavored milk for The National School Lunch Program, while other high-intensity sweeteners provide a solution for a la carte school milk, as well as products for retail and foodservice.
4.    Dessert, Premium Yogurt. Cultures, sweeteners, stabilizers and flavorful ingredients turn yogurt into a guilt-free dessert.
5.    Innovative Ice Cream Inclusions. When talking with folks on the show floor, these were the hottest flavors to try: Cinnamon Cream Horchata (the authentic flavor of horchata in ice cream with cinnamon cream swirls), Working for Peanuts (caramel peanut nougat ice cream with salty cocktail peanuts and swirls of salted caramel variegate), Sewing the Seeds of Love (cinnamon caramel ice cream blended with praline pumpkin seeds and swirls of salted caramel), It’s a Homerun Jack (caramel popcorn ice cream blended with caramel popcorn and swirls of gooey caramel) and Salty Caramel Caribou (toffee-flavored ice cream with salty caramel-filled mini milk chocolate cups and salty caramel fudge.) Basically, the flavors trending this season are caramel, cinnamon, nutty and salty. 
6.    Nutrient Enhancement. Yogurt has traditionally been the delivery vehicle of choice to showcase added nutrients. This year it was fluid milk and cheese. Ingredients trending include fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and mineral blends.  
7.    Dairy-Based Beverages. Coffee with milk continues to boom. Other innovations include tea lattes, oat milk, juice milk and horchata.
8.    Winners of the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest. Read more HERE.
9.    Winners of IDFA’s Innovations Awards. Read more HERE.
10.  The Daily Dose of Dairy. Thank you for all the positive feedback on the Daily Dose of Dairy e-newsletter and website. It was wonderful to meet so many subscribers and to welcome new additions to this growing family of nearly 3,500 global subscribers. Apologies for this edition being delivered later in the day. I hope it did not mess up your morning, as many of you expressed how the typical 4:00am EST delivery serves as a wakeup call. Thank you for allowing the Daily Dose of Dairy and to be part of your morning routine.

Finally…mark your calendars for the next International Dairy Show scheduled for September 15 to 18, 2015. The show will once again co-locate with PROCESS EXPO in Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“The International Dairy Show is back in Chicago, every other year, and is co-located with PROCESS EXPO--a perfect winning formula,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “The co-location has enhanced and expanded the Dairy Show without sacrificing the dairy focus that is so important to all of our stakeholders.”

For information regarding the International Dairy Show, visit HERE.

To reserve booth space, contact International Dairy Show Sales Executive Katherine Madison at

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fortification Trends and Opportunities in Dairy Foods

It’s been raining for two days and gloomy off and on for the past two weeks in Chicago. It’s a gruesome Halloween. I’m hoping all this nasty weather passes so there will be beautiful autumn days and nights when you arrive in The Windy City to attend The International Dairy Show at McCormick Place, from Sunday, November 3, to Wednesday, November 6. For more information, visit HERE.

Two things to remember about the show:
1) This Sunday, Daylight Savings Time ends. We fall back an hour. That extra hour means you have no excuse on being late to the show.
2) The Daily Dose of Dairy will be LIVE on the show floor at the iDairyShow Theater. Here’s the schedule:
  • Innovations in Refrigerated and Frozen Dairy Desserts; Sunday, November 3, 1:00 to 1:30pm
  • Innovations in Yogurt and Cultured Dairy Foods; Monday, November 4, 1:00 to 1:30pm
  • Innovations in Cheese and Butter; Tuesday, November 5, 1:00 to 1:30pm
  • Innovations in Milk and Other Dairy Beverages; Wednesday, November 6, 10:30 to 11:00am

Fortifying Dairy Products
Not only have the days been rainy and gloomy, they are noticeably shorter. So it’s not surprising that a number of news channels have started talking about the importance of vitamin D supplementation. This is because the body synthesizes vitamin D when skin is exposed to the sun. No sun translates to insufficient vitamin D for the body to most effectively function.

Interestingly, since the early 1930s, most dairy processors have been voluntarily adding vitamin D to fluid milk to prevent rickets, a bone-debilitating disease that was prevalent at the time and linked to a deficiency in this fat-soluble vitamin.

Why do most dairy processors stop at fortifying milk? Why not include this critical nutrient in cheese, yogurt and even ice cream? And why stop with vitamin D? There are a number of nutrients that consumers are lacking in sufficient quantities in their daily diet. Dairy products make excellent delivery vehicles.

IFIC’s 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey
In 2013, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) commissioned its eighth survey studying Americans’ awareness of and attitudes toward functional foods. This survey has been conducted every two to three years since 1998. It continues to provide consumer insights into consumers’ interests and perceptions about the roles of foods and beverages in promoting health and wellness. In contrast to previous surveys, which largely explored views on food and health benefit pairings, the latest round of research was designed to investigate consumer perceptions related to nutrient inadequacy, the variety of sources of functional components including naturally occurring and fortified, food processing, and behavioral determinants of functional food consumption.  

This year’s study took place between July 9 and July 22, with data collected from 1,005 random U.S. adults who participate in a 20-minute web-based survey. Here are some highlights that will hopefully encourage your R&D department to pursue fortification of new dairy foods.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey
For nearly all of the nutrients or food components examined, at least six in 10 consumers believe they get enough to meet their needs. Omega-3 fatty acids are the exception, as only 50% of consumers believe they get enough omega-3s to meet their needs.

The survey revealed that despite consumers’ reported knowledge about nutrition, the majority (67%) believe they fall short of meeting “all or nearly all” of their nutrient needs. Further, the survey also shows significant disconnects between people’s beliefs about whether they are getting sufficient amounts of many specific nutrients and the reality of their diets, as judged by the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) recommended by experts.

Opportunity to Fortify with Vitamin D, Potassium and Fiber

A comparison between the survey’s findings about perceptions of diet adequacy (by specific nutrient) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data shows large discrepancies between how many believe their intakes are adequate versus the actual DRIs. For nutrients such as vitamin D (68% perception vs. 32% consumption), potassium (61% vs. less than 3%) and fiber (67% vs. 5%), the discrepancy between perception and reality is quite stark. These three nutrients—vitamin D, potassium and fiber—present a real fortification opportunity for dairy processors.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey
Opportunity to Fortify with Antioxidants and Probiotics…as well as Lutein, Flavonoids and Zeaxanthin

More than half of consumers say they are getting at least some antioxidants and probiotics but many say they are not consuming enough to get a health benefit. There are still gaps in knowledge and consumption of a variety of other functional components, such as lutein, flavonoids and zeaxanthin. One third, or less, of the population say they are not consuming enough of these components to meet their needs or to get a health benefit. Dairy products can function as a delivery vehicle for all these fortificants.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey
Interestingly, half of consumers think fortification has little to no impact on taste. Younger consumers are more likely to think that fortification changes the taste of food at least a fair amount. In contrast, a full third of consumers ages 65 to 80 report that fortification does not change the taste of food at all.

 Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey

Even better, half of consumers think fortified foods are more worthwhile than non-fortified foods, while only one in 10 feel they are less worthwhile. Not surprisingly, consumers who are very concerned about not getting enough nutrients/healthful food components are more likely to think fortified foods are most often or always more worthwhile.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey

What is interesting is how different are their views of fortified foods for themselves, their children and their senior parents. For themselves, consumers like the idea of getting health-promoting nutrients and food components from foods with naturally occurring benefits more than in fortified foods, but nearly half don’t have a preference.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey

Interestingly, for their children, consumers tend to like the idea of each nutritional avenue more.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey

For their senior parents, consumers like the idea of both nutritional avenues and are even more likely to have a tie in ratings for the two.

Source: International Food Information Council (IFIC), 2013 Functional Foods Consumer Survey

Here’s the best part. Nearly two-thirds of consumers trust that functional foods will provide health benefits and have confidence that they could make the necessary changes to integrate these foods into their diet.

Look Who Fortifies

General Mills is one of a handful of U.S. dairies that adds both vitamins A and D to its yogurts.

Target Corp., adds vitamins A and D, as well as the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to its new Simply Balance organic milk line.

Charley’s Milk is a new line of aseptic all-natural nonfat milks. Available in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla, in 8- and 14-ounce plastic bottles, the milks are fortified with vitamins A and D, as well as calcium. An 8-ounce serving provides 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, 25% of the Daily Value for vitamin D and 40% of the Daily Value for calcium…and only 130 to 140 calories, depending on variety. For more information, visit HERE.

Borden Dairy’s Frusion C-Charged Smoothies are all about the vitamin C. Each single-serve 7-ounce bottle contains a full day’s supply of vitamin C. Read more HERE.

In addition to the 10 billion colony-forming-units of Bifidobacterium Lactis HN019 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM in each bar of Casper’s Active D’Lites with Probiotics Lite Ice Cream, each bar also contains 5 grams of fiber. The fiber comes from the inclusion of digestive resistant maltodextrin, fructooligosaccharides and inulin. The fiber is used in both the ice cream and the chocolate coating. For more information, visit HERE.

ProYo is as much about the probiotics as it is the protein. The frozen yogurt tubes are also a source of fiber. The product’s development story is an interesting one. You can read it HERE.

Even cream cheese wants in on the protein fortification trend. Kraft’s new Philadelphia 2X Protein Cream Cheese Spread delivers twice as much protein (4 grams vs. 2 grams per serving) as regular cream cheese spread. The company achieves this boost in protein through the addition of milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate. Read more HERE.

And now I sign off to get ready for the ghosts and goblins who will be ringing my doorbell very soon, expecting some candy. It should be no surprise that my youngest visitors will get a single-serve DHA-fortified aseptic Horizon chocolate milk. Read more HERE.

Older kids get candy…after all, I don’t want my housed egged!
Looking forward to meeting many subscribers at the Daily Dose of Dairy LIVE!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Inclusions Forecast: Adding Nutrition and Flavor to Dairy Foods…Bit by Bit and Piece by Piece

Photo Source: Coolhaus

Color, flavor and texture…inclusions provide sensory appeal to all types of dairy foods. But today’s consumers want more. They are seeking out cheeses, dips, desserts and yogurts loaded with goodies that not only liven up the product, but pack in some punch.
To read an article I recently wrote in Food Business News entitled “Innovation Through Inclusions,” click HERE.

What to Expect at the Dairy Show…and in new dairy foods this coming year

The inclusions ingredient category has come a long way from extruded cookie dough bits and praline pecan chips. The beauty of inclusions is that they allow a dairy processor to create a simple base product—cream cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc.—and differentiate through the addition of inclusions. These inclusions are typically sourced from suppliers who deliver a consistent ingredient, which prevents variations in the finished product.

After careful observation of products already in the global dairy marketplace, a review of other food categories (candies, cookies, snack foods, etc.) that include similar “bits and pieces,” and an analysis of consumer trends, here’s my forecast of inclusion-laden dairy food prototypes you will see at the International Dairy Show, which starts November 3 in Chicago, and eventually in the retail and foodservice channels. 

Photo source: Almond Board of California

1. Nuts. Nuts have long been a favorite garnish for dairy foods. Think Butter Pecan, Chocolate Almond and Pralines & Cream ice creams. Cheese balls get rolled in nuts and the occasional dual-compartment yogurt has diced nuts. In the future, expect many of these nuts to be layered with flavors…often with an element of heat. Think cayenne pepper-coated pistachios and honey and Sriracha-roasted pecans. (Sriracha is so popular these days, that there’s a festival saluting everything about its tangy, sweet, fiery flavor planned for this weekend. Read more about it HERE.)

Such premium nuts make ideal additions to fresh yogurt parfaits prepared daily by retailers and foodservice operators. I can see Chipotle offering, you guessed it, a yogurt parfait with chipotle and maple-flavored almonds.

Nuts will also become part of more complex inclusions. For example, the pictured Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream created by the Almond Board of California includes pie crust pieces containing finely chopped almonds as well as broken bits of almond brittle. 

And here’s a new product from Spain’s El Pastoret de la Segarra. Caprichos de Yoghourt, which translates to Yogurt Whims, is traditional Greek yogurt with upscale inclusions. The product is made daily with fresh milk and high-quality natural ingredients. The company implements a careful production process, adding each layer to a glass container, ensuring that the product’s composition and presentation are of the highest quality and provide the best-tasting experience. Yogurt Whims have a 35-day refrigerated shelf life.

When you peel back the foil seal of the Figs & Macadamia Nut variety, you see large pieces of macadamia nuts resting in a premium fig sauce.

2. Seeds. A close relative to nuts, seeds are not as common of an inclusion in dairy foods. That’s about to change. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are sources of vitamins, minerals, protein and phytonutrients. Similar to nuts, seeds can be layered with flavors. Honey glazed and chocolate coated are the most common, but when the Food Network showcases innovations such as Sweet Kabocha Squash Ice Cream with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, you know there’s a lot of opportunity with seeds. Read this recipe HERE.

The two seeds that are really gaining traction are chia and sesame. The latter, in particular, is emerging as a star flavor in Asian-style ice creams. For example, Mikawaya USA recently launched Mikawaya Exottics. One of the flavors is Black Sesame. Read more HERE.

Chia seed is finding a home in yogurt. The Epic Seed, from Epic Naturals in California combines Greek yogurt with chia seeds. “Chia is the Mayan word for strength, and some consider it nature’s perfect food,” said Jesse Rudolph, founder. “We believe we’ve filled a void in the marketplace and created a brand, which like the little chia seed itself, packs a real punch.” A 6.6-ounce cup of The Epic Seed contains more omega-3 fatty acids than a serving of salmon, and is loaded with antioxidants, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and protein. The nonfat product comes in four flavors—Blackberry, Blueberry, Peach and Strawberry—with each serving providing 3 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.

3. Chocolate. Surprise, surprise, chocolate still reigns as an inclusion in dairy foods. But, this next generation of chocolate inclusions is much more complex than the chips and chunks of yesteryear. This is exemplified in Italy’s G7’s range of single-serve containers of premium gelato. The Panna Cotta variety is Panna Cotta-flavored gelato with swirls of caramel syrup and topped with caramel chocolate curls.

The company also offers Cioccolatissimo, which is chocolate-flavored gelato with chocolate syrup. The gelato is topped with dark and milk chocolate curls.

Chocolate works in cheese, too.  This product debuted in the U.S. just in time for Valentine’s Day 2013. It is “the perfect marriage.” Discount private-label retailer Aldi described its Cheddar with Chocolate as being for those who have “passion for food.” Read more HERE.

A new generation of trio-compartment containers for yogurt is making it possible to offer inclusions in the form of delicate curls or shapes. For example, Ehrmann, with global headquarters in Germany and a recent expansion into the U.S., now offers Raspberries and Chocolate Hearts Grand Dessert in its trio-compartment container.

 Identifying the source or the origins of ingredients--any ingredients—is a growing trend. This includes chocolate and cocoa. At Anuga, Poland’s Getak’s debuted an extensive line of premium novelties available for export. The company prides itself on using 100% Natural Belgium Chocolate, with packages boasting such a logo.

4. Premium Pieces. That brings me to a general trend for all inclusions, and that is boasting a premium positioning. For example, in case you missed Friday’s Daily Dose of Dairy featuring limited-edition Ambach-branded Tiramisu Kaffee Eiscreme, you can read about it HERE.

This gelato dessert is real tiramisu. The clear plastic tub showcases the product inside. Starting from the bottom up, there’s a layer of tiramisu-flavored ice cream, real lady finger biscuits, tiramisu-flavored sauce, coffee-flavored ice cream and cocoa-covered cake pieces. This spectacular creation is finished with a drizzle of marsala wine.

Target Corp., recognizes this clear-container, premium and authentic inclusion ingredient trend for gelato and is now importing product from Italy into the States. Featured here is Spiced Berry Crumble Gelato infused with cardamom flavor. The gelato is topped with real baked cobbler crumbles. Other varieties in the line include Caramel Biscotti Gelato (with pieces of real Italian biscotti), Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl (with identifiable hazelnuts pieces and delicate chocolate curls) and Pistachio Gelato (with whole pistachios).

At Anuga, Germany’s Jermi Kasewerk GmbH introduced a line of premium cream cheese pates. The products are intended for a retailer’s cheese counter and are sliced to order. The layered cheese treat comes in three varieties, all made with fresh ingredients. They are: Cranberry and Hazelnut, Green Pesto Herb and Mediterranean. 
5. The Unexpected. Indeed, not all inclusions are sweet treats, as exemplified by Moondarra, an innovative new cheese offering imported from Australia into the States. The namesake company uses fresh inclusion combinations with a unique method of processing and packaging (vacuum-sealed technology) to allow its innovations to be experienced abroad. The 120-gram rolls of seasoned cream cheese come in three varieties: Apricot & Almond, Cranberry & Macadamia and Fig & Walnut. Read more HERE.

California’s Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., has turned its award-winning namesake blue cheese into a line of premium dips through the use of innovative inclusions. Varieties are: Bacon & Caramelized Onion (smoky and sweet with a hint of Kentucky bourbon); Original Blue; Port, Cherry & Pistachio (sweet and nutty with port-soaked Bing cherries and toasted pistachios) and Truffle & Sage (deep earthy flavors with layers of savory umami). Read more HERE.

Caramelized onion is definitely one of the hottest savory inclusions in the cheese and dairy dips business. For example, the U.K.’s Bridgehead Foods Partners now offers a line of snacking cheeses designed for the adult palate. The single-serve 40-gram portions come in varieties such as Mature Cheddar with Cracked Black Pepper, Mature Cheddar & Caramelized Onion and Tangy Mature Cheddar with Chili & Lime.

Photo source: Azteca Ingredinets

Here’s an inclusion just waiting to surprise and delight. New tortilla chip crumbs from Azteca Ingredients Inc., in Chicago, provide color, crunch and a Hispanic twist to all types of foods. Imagine a savory single-serve cottage cheese with an attached dome cup of tortilla chip crumbs that the consumer can mix in. In foodservice, the crumbs can be a topping on a dulce de leche caramel ice cream. The gluten-free, all-natural crumbs come in three colors: blue, gold and red. 

As we approach this weekend before Halloween, when many costumed celebrations start to take place, it’s important to remember that when it comes to products for kids, we can still expect the unexpected, with dairy foods marketers going to all ends in efforts to appeal to their youngest consumer. For example, Ehrmann uses its trio-compartment for its new Monster Backe line. Yogurt is the main component, which makes mom happy. The sweet, fruity component is strawberry, lemon or woodruff. The latter is a popular flavoring herb in Germany. The other compartment contains sour, fizzy candies. Read more HERE.

Have a safe and fun Halloween holiday!