According to the firm’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) flavored milk accounted for 43% of dairy drink introductions in India in 2016, up from 20% in 2012.
'Increased level of interest'
Its research shows retail volume sales for flavored milk in India reached 72 million litres in 2015, up 31% from 55 million litres in 2012. Flavoured milk retail value sales grew by 40% in the same period, reaching Rs 800 crore in 2015, up from Rs 570 crore in 2012.
Ranjana Sundaresan, global food and drink analyst, Mintel said the packaged flavored milk segment has been enjoying an increased level of interest and in turn this has led to a more product innovation in the country.
“Flavored milk has gained ground in India over the past few years, and most dairy players in the country feature some form of the flavored beverage in their product mix,” he said.
“There has even been innovation from companies that are not typically associated with the dairy space.
“Much of the category’s retail growth in India can be attributed to the fact that urban Indian consumers are opening up to value-added dairy, particularly for its convenience and health benefits.
“The popularity of packaged flavoured milk in India is also due to consumers’ preference for assurance of safety.”
Healthy & links to energy
The research found 64% of pre-packaged ready-to-drink (RTD) dairy drink consumers in India agree RTD dairy drinks are healthy and 48% say dairy drinks provide them with energy.
Over half (54%) of these consumers see them as convenient choices, while nearly half (46%) agree this beverage type is hygienic.
"Given the growing health concerns in India urban consumers are swapping less healthy beverage options like carbonated soft drinks, and juices, for flavored milk,” added Sundaresan.
“Our research indicates parents of households with adolescents are an opportunity for flavored milk manufacturers, as they are more likely to recognise the health benefits and nutrients that come with pre-packaged ready-to-drink dairy beverages.
“There is potential for innovation on flavors, formats and formulations that are in sync with what appeals to children, while fulfilling nutritional requirements—an important feature for parents.”
Findings from Mintel show seven in 10 (71%) Indian parents with children aged 13-17 find pre-packaged RTD dairy drinks healthy, while one in three (32%) think they are a good treat.
Looking to the future, breakfast will grow as an occasion that dairy companies and manufacturers can tap into for opportunities.
Mintel research found over one in four (28%) consumers of pre-packaged RTD dairy drinks consume dairy drinks for breakfast.
“Our research suggests breakfast presents an opportunity for companies in the dairy industry, but currently very few launches highlight this positioning,” said Sundaresan.
“In today’s fast-paced world, consumers don’t have the time for a sit-down breakfast, and are on the lookout for convenient food and drink options that keep them full and nourished while on-the-go.
“This opens up avenues for value-added, fortified, on-the-go dairy innovations that achieve satiety while providing consumers with their breakfast nutritional needs.”
Mintel defines dairy drink as white milk, flavored milk, drinking yogurt & liquid cultured milk, and plant based drink (dairy alternatives) subcategories.