This will be the NDC’s eighth annual contest searching for the best dairy or dairy-based products that satisfy consumers’ desire for performance nutrition.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners with $8,000 for first place, $5,000 for second and $3,000 for third. The deadline for 2019 contest submissions is January 14, 2019 and the winners will be announced at the American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting in June 2019.
A $21bn market
The NDC also explained the main drivers behind the ‘performance nutrition’ angle for the 2019 competition, presenting it as a unique whitespace opportunity for young dairy startups to fill.
According to the council, 75% of US adults are current or potential consumers for sports and nutrition food and beverages and 71% of mainstream American adults claim to exercise at least once a week.
Statista reports that the value of the US sports nutrition market is forecast to reach $21bn in 2020, with sports drinks and sports protein powder dominating most of the sector.
The NDC cites that looking or feeling good, maintaining or improving strength and losing or maintaining weight are among the top five motivators across gender and age groups. Also, consumers understand ‘performance’ as targeted functionality that comes from the nutritional density of foods and beverages.
Official competition guidelines detail eligibility requirements like prohibiting vegetable proteins or oils to replace dairy components, teams made up of at least two students being supervised by a faculty adviser and unique product entries that have not been commercially marketed.
Interested students must submit a preliminary report and cover letter with heavy emphasis placed on concept innovation and connection to the NDC consumer and marketplace insights. Finalists go through two more rounds of full reports, presentations and webinars before the winners are announced.
More details on entry can be found here.
Winners of the 2018 competition included FROmage from Clemson University, MooCakes from The Ohio State University and Mottochi from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.