‘Consumers trust farmers’: Unpacking Mintel’s 2024 Global Consumer Trends Report
From value for money to building relationships with consumers and communicating climate actions more authentically, market intelligence agency Mintel highlights five consumer trends that will be important to brands next year and beyond. These are Being Human – i.e., finding ways to elevate consumer experience through human creativity as a contrast to technology; More Than Money – redefining what constitutes value; Relationship Renaissance – leveraging interpersonal relationships; New Green Reality – addressing the climate threat; and Positive Perspectives – offering consumers support and actionable information during times of uncertainty. Among the main five trends, there are several important factors – from consumer disillusionment with green claims to relationship- and image-building opportunities – that dairy companies should keep an eye on in 2024.
‘Serious flavor’: Tillamook enters the frozen meals aisle with pizza and mac’n’cheese
The US dairy co-operative is aiming to spotlight the versatility of its cheeses while exploring new revenue streams. The co-op has worked with Golden West Food Group to come up with ‘premium, restaurant-quality’ frozen meals, which comprise three types of mac’n’cheese products and four frozen pizza flavors. The new range of meals will expand Tillamook’s retail reach into a new segment for the co-op, which otherwise markets fresh products such as cheese, butter, spreads, ice cream and sour cream. Entry to the frozen meals market could prove to be a lucrative revenue stream for the co-op’s value-added offerings.
Vivici to release dairy-free BLG in early 2024, with Fonterra, dsm-firmenich possible collaborators
The food technology start-up says it is able to provide food-grade samples of its fermentation-derived BLG as it looks to partner with food and beverage companies interested in leveraging non-animal dairy proteins. Vivici said its ingredient - described as a ‘nature-equivalent whey protein beta-lactoglobulin’ – will be brought to market in early 2024. The company expects to gain US regulatory approval around the same time and is open to collaborating with food and beverage makers willing to explore the animal-free dairy landscape. “We are certainly on track, if not slightly ahead of our original timeline,” the company’s CEO Stephan van Sint Fiet told us of Vivici's progress so far. “We now have the ability to provide potential customers with food-grade sample material for evaluation.” Conceived as a joint venture between Fonterra and dsm-firmenich (at the time still operating as Royal DSM) with the aim to develop, produce and market fermentation-derived dairy proteins, Vivici now operates as an independent company.
SIG takes aim at plastic waste with eco-friendly carton pack
The packaging giant says its on-the-go carton bottle offers ‘all the convenience of a plastic bottle and the sustainability benefits of a carton pack’ – but can this concept fly in the minds of consumers? Launching in China initially with plans for expansion to other countries, the product caters to the ‘paperization’ trend, where packaging manufacturers are increasingly switching from plastic to paper. According to March 2023 research into packaging trends published by McKinsey, no single packaging type – whether plastic, glass, metal or paper – appears to be an undisputed leader when it comes to every attribute of packaging sustainability. For example, compostable options such as those made from cane sugar rank higher in some countries, but not in Japan, where shoppers consider plastics made from recycled content and fully recyclable plastics just as sustainable as compostable packaging.
ofi more than doubles functional dairy ingredients capacity with expanded Malaysia plant and R&D center
The ingredients specialist hails ‘milestone moment’ that will strengthen its regional presence and allow it to further focus on high-growth categories such as RTD beverages, premixes and blending lines. ofi has increased its ingredient manufacturing footprint by adding significant capacity to its production facility in Johor, Malaysia, which manufactures functional dairy ingredients and fat-filled milk powder. The enhancements are part of ofi’s strategy to become a more solutions-led, customers-centric organization following its rebrand to Olam Food Ingredients in 2021. Speaking exclusively to DairyReporter, Sandeep Jain, managing director and CEO, Dairy, at ofi said: “The plant will produce 90,000 metric tons of fat-filled milk powder and other dairy ingredients each year and will play a key part in serving the demand from our customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The expansion of our research and development operation with cutting-edge equipment and new category laboratory facilities means we will be able to better collaborate with customers to create customizable, tailored, and cost-effective dairy food applications in beverages, bakery and frozen desserts for consumers worldwide.”