The traditionally natural and nutritious image of dairy products is continuing to be a key driver in NPD, according to Innova Market Insights’Top Trends in Dairy 2021. This is despite the challenge posed by rising interest in plant-based diets and concerns over environmental and ethical issues.
Covid-19 concerns drive immune interest
Key health related trends from the top ten with a particularly positive influence on dairy are led by Innova’s #5 Top Ten Trend 2021 “In Tune with Immune”. Ongoing anxiety stemming from Covid-19 is pushing consumers to prioritize their immune health. Innova’s 2020 Consumer Survey indicated that 54% of global consumers claimed to have spent time educating themselves on ingredients that could boost their immune health.
Dairy products such as yogurt and fermented drinks have long been associated with immune health, largely as a result of the development and mainstreaming of probiotics. More recently interest has also risen in the immune benefits of antioxidants, and the greater use of fruit, herbal and spice extracts for flavor and function.
Achieving balance with complete solutions
The influence of Innova’s #6 Top Ten Trend 2021 “Nutrition Hacking” is also seen being seen within the top trends in Dairy. Four-out-of-five global consumers said that they believed in progress in food and beverages through science. Developments are focusing on tapping into improving nutrition, leveraging technology and balancing diets.
Traditionally, popular claims included high protein for the protein-loving consumer, fiber-rich for digestive health, or sugar-reduced for weight and overall health. However, this is now evolving toward more complete balanced solutions. Products such as dairy drinks offering “advanced” or “complete” nutrition are leveraging the best of both worlds for natural and technology-driven options.
Boosting mood health
Another Top Trend in Dairy is “Mood: The Next Occasion”. Concerns over mental health are more significant than ever. According to the WHO, depression may be the leading illness globally by 2030 if no action is taken. Dairy NPD around mood is seeing rapid growth, with rising use of on-pack claims relating to specific mood platforms.
Calming/relaxing and energy boosting are the most established platforms, while sleep promotion is still niche, but growing from a smaller base and showing potential for further innovation. The use of adaptogenic herbal extracts for combating the mental and physical effects of stress is also trending as upward interest in more holistic well-being develops.
“There is clearly ongoing potential for the dairy market”, says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “It remains one of the world’s most valuable food sectors, with a healthy, nutritious and versatile image and the potential for ongoing added value. However, the recent struggle with Covid-19 and a generally tougher consumer environment may prove challenging.”