5 major trends that dairy brands should capitalise on in 2017

With the most important event of the 2017 dairy calendar – the World Dairy Innovation Awards – just around the corner, we take a look at the five major trends that are shaping the global dairy industry today.

No nasties

As reducing salt, fat and sugar continues to be a priority for consumers today, naturally healthy dairy products will up the ante even further with a ‘less is more’ approach. The challenges of reformulation without compromise in taste and texture will drive innovation with novel flavour solutions and ingredients use.


Craft continues its steady growth in food and beverages, as premium artisan products unmistakably set the tone for all. Big companies with mass production models are adapting to the climate perfectly and pushing the design edge to compete with the personal touch of healthy, clean-label products from smaller producers, leading the way for limited-edition and premium products with a sophisticated touch.

Bold cross-categories

Consumers today are more in tune with their bodies than ever, seeking products catering to their special diets. Brands will answer their demands with tastier, guilt-free pleasures with functional benefits. Hectic modern lifestyles blur the lines between meals and snacks, and even drinks and foods with hybrid products like yogurt-drinks or smoothie-desserts. Innovative packaging designs will provide ultimate convenience for modern day nomads.

Disruptive experimentation

The general trend from sweet to savoury in dairy will inspire surprising sour, salty and umami mixes and experimental use of ingredients like seaweed, chillies and citrusy fruits. Dairy companies will also harness the functional and technical benefits of plants, as superfoods, healthy herbs, spices and seeds inform groundbreaking new recipes. New colouring ingredients will open the way for true experimentation where the products look in one way, but taste another.

Holistic change

Clean label is becoming a standard as the demand for total transparency rises, not only redefining the production chains, but also the way brands communicate with the consumers, generating awareness regarding key issues in their respective industries and their brand positioning. Consumers lead companies to create strong social responsibility projects and greenest of initiatives.

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