Friday, July 15, 2016

Glocal Dairy Indulgence: Adding Culinary Inspiration to Future Innovations

Let me introduce you to glocal. It’s the melding of globally inspired flavors with local ingredients. Or, as my industry friend Lisa Stern explains—and she is the one who introduced me to the term, thank you--they are worldly flavors with a hometown spin.

Glocal in the dairy industry is all about east meeting west and heat meeting sweet with farm-fresh milk from down the road. Indeed, it is the locally sourced nature of milk, and the often perishable nature of dairy products, that positions dairy so well for the glocal movement. Consumers want to explore worldly flavors, but at the same time, they prefer that the majority of their food comes from no more than a tanker truck away, rather than a plane, train or ship.  

To read a Food Business News article I recently write on the glocal culinary movement and the impact it is having on dairy, link HERE.

Glocal feeds into what Innova Market Insights has identified as an opportunity for dairy, and that is the indulgence factor.

According to Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova, adding elements of ultra indulgence, such as new textures and more experimental flavors, is trending in dairy. New opportunities for product hybridization and eating occasions are emerging. All of this is an opportunity with that farm-fresh milk delivered daily.

Think Ancho Mango Sunrise Ice Cream from Baskin Robbins. The product description says: Take a ride on the spicy side and enjoy chamoy mango flavored ice cream with mango pieces swirled with an ancho chamoy ribbon for some sweet heat. (It’s delicious! I had it when I visited their offices yesterday. It’s all-you-can-eat-and-drink coffee, doughnuts and ice cream while waiting in the lobby of Dunkin Brands headquarters. Talk about a sugar rush!)

Heat and sweet have long been attracted to each other. For many consumers, it’s a sprinkling of red pepper flakes here and a dash of hot sauce there. But as borders continue to blur, either by real travel or social media, we are increasingly craving food adventure. Sweet fruits are a great carrier for heat, while the white, creamy, neutral flavor of milk and products made from milk, make dairy an ideal carrier for sweet with heat.

You can expect to see many worldly flavors in prototypes at IFT16: Where Science Feeds Innovation, the annual meeting and food expo of the Institute of Food Technologists kicking off this weekend in Chicago, my hometown.

For example, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has developed a cottage cheese mango dip. This concept complements many trends, including consumer desire for high-quality protein, and having access to that protein throughout the day.

According to USDEC, many consumers know the general benefits of protein, but a majority are unaware that not all proteins are created equal. Dairy proteins offer benefits that make them a higher-quality option than plant proteins. Further, protein is often consumed only at certain times of the day, primarily at dinner. However, it’s important that high-quality proteins are consumed throughout the day in order to meet recommended protein intake amounts. Therefore, consumers look for snack items to increase their protein intake between meals and often use them as meal replacers.

Today’s consumers are also exploring their ethnic palates with flavors from around the world. They want to experience new, bolder flavors. Versatile U.S. dairy ingredients fuse with global ethnic flavors to yield unique flavors and textures for wide cultural appeal, according to Vikki Nicholson, senior vice president of global marketing for USDEC.

She explains that dips are a booming dairy category. They attract the many millennials who mix flavors to spice up popular everyday finger foods with unique tastes. U.S. dairy ingredients aid in this evolution by offering flavor, functionality and nutrition.

Just look at the recently introduced Chobani Meze Dips line, which features real veggies, herbs and spices blended with creamy Greek yogurt made with New York State-sourced milk. Varieties are: Chili Lime, Roasted Red Pepper, Smoked Onion Parmesan and Three-Pepper Salsa.

In the cheese department, Schuman Cheese now offers a series of hand-rubbed fontina cheeses under its new Yellow Door Creamery brand. The semi-soft, mild and creamy cows milk cheese come in three varieties: Habanero and Lime (a citrus finish with every bite of heat), Harissa (a smoky blend of chili, cumin and caraway seed) and Tuscan (a classic blend of Italian herbs and spices).

Made using fresh Wisconsin milk, expert cheesemakers use traditional methods to create fontina cheese, according to the company. The Fontina wheels are hand rubbed with vibrant spice blends from around the globe.

World Dairy Innovation Winners

Needs some worldly ideas for your next glocal innovation? Here are some of the winners of the World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016, the leading global dairy product innovation award. It is coordinated by FoodBev Media. This year, winners were recognized at the Global Dairy Congress in London at the end of June. The judging panel considered 211 entries from 37 countries, with winners and finalists in a total of 18 categories.

“The pace of change and real innovation demonstrated in the wide variety of entries in the 10th annual World Dairy Innovation Awards is evidence that the international food and beverage industry continues to deliver for the consumer,” said Bill Bruce, director, FoodBev Media. “From exciting new flavors and ingredients to clever convenience packaging and measurable advances in environmental responsibility, the awards highlight the best of the best from both established companies and a growing number of start-ups. If you want to spot the coming trends in dairy, the World Dairy Innovation Awards provide all the clues you need.”

Here are some of the winners. I am proud to say that most of these products had been previously featured as a Daily Dose of Dairy. (Links are provided for product details.)

The Best Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt Award went to Koupe, which is described as an alternative to ice cream. This dairy-based frozen dessert is high in protein and fiber, while also lower in fat, added sugars and calories, as compared to traditional ice cream.

The Best Butter or Dairy Spread Award went to Pinar Dairy Company for its Breakfast Cream with Pistachio Purée. This Turkish spread is an alternative to butter or cream cheese and intended to be consumed together with kunafeh and baklava.

The Best Functional Dairy Product Award went to Dairy Farmers of America for Live Real Farms, a new concept in energy drinks. The beverage is described as “made with real dairy and fruit juice.”

The 11-ounce aseptically packaged shelf-stable cartons list fruit juice blend as the first ingredient. The formulation also contains lactose-free skim milk and whey protein isolate. Energy comes from the naturally occurring sugars in the juices, the skim milk and added fruit purees, as well as green tea extract and vitamin 12.

The Best Children’s Product Award went to Arla Foods for Arla Big Milk. This is the UK’s first fresh milk enriched with essential nutrients to help support children’s growth and development as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. It’s made with 100% British whole cows milk finely filtered for freshness. The creation of Arla Big Milk is part of Arla’s strategy to support British farmers by developing innovative products to add value to the milk category.

For a complete list of World Dairy Innovation Awards 2016 winners, link HERE.

To view a video of all entrants, finalists and winners in every category, link HERE.

Hope to see many of you at IFT this coming week. I’m a local focal who is all about glocal…so if you need some inspiration, explore these foodie destinations:

Mariano’s New City location. Mariano’s is unlike most supermarkets and you actually can get lost in the New City location. It is two floors of retail meets food court, including sushi bar, real barbecue, cheese cave and wine and beer on tap. The butcher here not only cuts your meat, it can be cooked for you while you shop.

Within walking distance (very safe) is one of the largest Whole Foods Markets. The Lincoln Park location is home to one of the city’s largest hot food bars, which features foods from Chicago’s many ethnic neighborhoods. You can grab a pierogi, an egg roll, lasagna and taco all in one trip.

Two other must visits are Eataly and Latinicity. The former focuses on the flavors of Italy, while the latter explores Latin cuisine, both in a combination retail and foodservice format. To read more about Eataly, link HERE.

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