Friday, January 26, 2024

Every Day This Week was a Great Day for Dairy: Let’s keep up the momentum


(left) From the Winter Fancy Food Show: DaoHer Beverage debuted Crème Brulee Boba, a canned boba milk made with organic whole milk powder and sweetened with stevia to keep calories and added sugars down. It joins three varieties of boba milk tea: brown sugar, classic and matcha. 

Every day this week “was a great day” for dairy, not for Barbie, specifically The Barbie Movie, and if you saw it, you know the line from the movie I am referencing regarding “a great day.” It is a bit personal, because if you remember, Barbie drinks real cows’ milk in the movie. 

Mooing on, we should all be stoked for what 2024 promises. Let’s make every day a great day for dairy!

The week started with numerous dairy innovations debuting at the Winter Fancy Food in Las Vegas, followed by lots of energy at Dairy Forum in Phoenix and ending with an informative webinar by the Hartman Group titled “Taste of Tomorrow 2023: Navigating Food Through the Eyes of Gen Z and Alpha.”

In between all that excitement, I received so many new dairy product announcements this week that the Daily Dose of Dairy is set for a while. 

Here’s one of my favorites. Once Upon a Farm, a childhood nutrition company, is entering the dairy category with real dairy! The company is launching organic A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes. Available in three flavors—Banana Crème, Strawberry Crème and Triple Berry--these organic whole milk shakes are made with farm-fresh fruits and veggies, A2/A2 organic whole milk and no added sugar. These sippable shakes use organic A2/A2 grass-based whole milk sourced from Alexandre Family Farm. 

In addition, Once Upon a Farm will release a second product line in its dairy portfolio--Whole Milk Smoothies—this spring. Varieties are Banana Berry Blast, Mango Pear-adise and Orange Squeeze. The whole milk smoothies compliment the brand’s existing Dairy-Free Smoothie line. 

“At Once Upon a Farm, we are committed to maximizing nutrition for our customers, little and big,” says Jennifer Garner, co-founder and chief brand officer. (Yes, it’s the actress.) “This announcement is so exciting we are dancing in the barn. We are launching scrumptious, sumptuous, A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes, in partnership with Alexandre Family Farms.  You asked and boy, are we excited to share with you.”

Alexandre Family Farm’s Farmer-Owner Stephanie Alexandre (who was at the Fancy Food Show, but always had such a crowd around the booth that I could not stop and say hello), says, “We are so honored to partner with Once Upon a Farm on their A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes featuring our A2/A2 organic whole milk known for its easily digestible protein. Our shared passion for delivering the best organic food, especially through nutritious whole milk products for growing children, drove us to partner from the very beginning. As the first certified regenerative, organic and humane dairy in the U.S., we admire the commitment and leadership of Once Upon a Farm in shaping a healthier future for children through its innovative dairy products.”

Once Upon a Farm Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Cassandra Curtis, says, “When we decided to go into dairy, it was imperative that we partnered with farms that are making a positive impact on our planet and in the dairy industry specifically. For us, it was a no-brainer to partner with Alexandre Family Farm…You can taste the quality in our shakes.”

(right) From the Winter Fancy Food Show: Champignon North America continues to grow its imported Briette cheese line. These soft-ripened cheeses are aged from the outside in. The cultures added during the cheesemaking process form a bloomy white exterior and creamy inside as the cheese ages. The two new varieties are Chai and Tropical. They join Blue, Buttery Red, Dulce de Leche, Mild and Smoky. 

Quality was in full force at Dairy Forum 2024 in Phoenix. Industry leaders showed up and committed to “elevating” dairy to feed the growing population.  

“Dairy consumption is hot. We’ve had a record year,” said Michael Dykes, president and chief executive office, International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C. “We’re simply eating more of our dairy than we are drinking.”

Doing a better job of communicating dairy’s healthful halo is a priority for IDFA, according to Dykes. He believes that dairy will have a prominent role in the food as medicine movement. This includes foods for healthful living, from birth to forever. 

(left) From the Winter Fancy Food Show: This pre-baked, ready-to-build Charcuterie Chalet Kit includes cheese spread to hold the pieces together. 

That brings me to The Hartman Group webinar, which presented data from an October-November 2023 online survey. You can watch the webinar  HERE

Findings include ideas on how to best market to parents and younger consumers. For example, Gen Alpha (0 to 12 years old) is likely going to be one of the most food savvy generations when they become adults thanks to efforts by their millennial parents. The research showed that “shared cooking moments become an avenue for parents to blend culinary education with cultural exploration and lessons on balanced eating,” said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. “Cooking has taken on a whole new sense of meaning in parents’ lives, not just for functional and practical reasons but for emotional and cultural reasons, too.”

  • 69% of Gen Alpha parents cook with their children
  • 77% of parents with children 6- to 12-years old cook with them
  • 63% of Gen Alpha parents cook with their children as a way to share their culture

(right) From the Winter Fancy Food Show: Petit Pot is now offering its Original Organic Rice Pudding in recyclable, light-weight shareable 14-ounce paperboard cartons. And, Original Rice Pudding comes in two-packs of 3.5-ounce paperboard containers. Paperboard eliminates breakage and reduces freight costs.  

Gen Z (13 to 26 years) has an “everything in moderation is OK” attitude. They believe in finding balance and believe there is a place for indulgence. (Think dairy desserts!) 

“Gen Z balances comfort with culinary discovery, broadening the definition of ‘familiar foods’ through their rich ethnic diversity and openness to new tastes,” said Andrea Kwamya, Consumer Insights Consultant for The Hartman Group. “Gen Z navigates budget constraints and evolving tastes by seeking diverse, flavorful and healthy food options, diverging from their parents’ choices and embracing global and local foods. 

“For the on-the-go Gen Z consumer, convenience is a major factor influencing eating habits, prioritizing quick, easy options with minimal cleanup,” said Kwamya. “[Gen Z] cares about additive nutrients. They want more protein. They believe in indulgence.”

And, the United Club loves dairy! Check out the latest offerings. Breakfast buffets across the country not only serve Greek yogurt, there’s cottage cheese, too. In Los Angeles, there’s a horchata station and in Phoenix a gelato bar. 

Together we can make every day a great one for dairy. 

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