Ice cream dominates dairy innovation drive

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ice cream Milk

Ice cream is leading growth in the global market for innovative dairy products as consumers increasingly associate the segment as being more of an everyday, year-round household grocery, according to a new report.

Global Industry Analysts says that the entire dairy market continues to benefit from an influx of products launched to cater for health conscious and indulgence seeking consumers, particularly in the emerging markets of Asia.

Dairy manufacturers are therefore expected to continue launching wider product assortments pertaining to be either value-added, functional, convenient or ready to eat in the coming years with ice cream leading the way, the report states.

Ice cream trends

According to the analyst, the ice cream segment over the last two years, while still popular among children and young adults, has become a more commonly purchased item for ‘at home’ consumption and not just during the summer time.

The report expects that the global ice cream market will witness a growing number of flavour introductions as part of a shift towards premium products.

Opportunities are also expected for niche segments like lower-fat ice creams, as well as advances in processing methods involving low-temperature freezing and product blending.

However, rising health awareness amongst consumers will continue to be felt across all dairy product innovation, the analyst said.

Drinking milk

Drinking milk was another product that will be driven by its healthier image, particularly in terms of organic and natural varieties, according to the report.

Sales of plain fluid milks are expected to be boosted by a growing number of products being served in smaller more convenient plastic bottles and in ‘tastier’ flavours, say Global Industry Analysts.

In terms of yoghurt products, the reports says that the segment is already flourishing due to its perceived nutrition benefits amongst consumers. In recent years, products such as probiotic yoghurts with additional health benefits have proven to be particularly popular.

Marketing and distribution

Aside from product innovation, the analyst claims that ensuring a strong marketing ethic and distribution presence will prove just as vital to manufacturers.

“[The] dairy products market is also benefiting due to the spread of established retailers and creative distribution streams such as shopping centres, service stations, vending machines and other establishments,”​ the report stated. “The Internet has also become a significant source of marketing dairy products, apart from home delivery of packaged and durable products. “

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