fresh dairy in glass jar

Dairy Trends Coming in 2021

The dairy category offers consumers so much—fresh delicious taste, healthy nutrition, and essential ingredients for favorite household meals. All of these benefits are more relevant than ever as we head into the new year. Take a look at the up-and-coming dairy trends for 2021.

Dairy Products Essential to Consumers

While foodservice dairy sales took a hit in 2020 due to COVID-19 restaurant shutdowns, retail dairy sales surged as consumers stocked up on household staples like milk, cheese, and yogurt. dairy products are not only traditional favorites, but they also address consumers’ interests in protein, fresh foods, healthy snacks, taste adventure, and functional foods. 

Changes in consumers’ lifestyles and priorities as a result of COVID-19, such as more people eating at home and heightened concerns about health, have created new opportunities for the dairy category. From immune support products to gourmet foods for dinner parties, these dairy trends for 2021 promise to meet these evolving needs. 

Cultured Dairy for Immune Health

COVID-19 has put immunity in the spotlight. Cultured dairy products such as spoonable and drinkable yogurts and other fermented functional foods are a popular choice for building a healthy gut microbiome, offering perceived immune system benefits, as well as digestive and mental health support. Expect that more consumers will incorporate yogurt into their daily routine, including using it in recipes. Manufacturers can also add a custom premix of vitamins and minerals for support.

Fresh dairy in a bowl with berries

Comfort Foods

Consumers’ growing demand for comfort foods to stave off feelings of anxiety and boost mood during these difficult times is also expected to impact next year’s dairy trends. From nostalgic to indulgent, dairy delivers on comfort—whether it’s milk for cereal, pudding, or hot cocoa or it’s cheese for pizza, mac and cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches. Expect strong retail sales for dairy products used in comfort foods and for traditional flavors like milk chocolate and cheddar.

Dairy for Weight Management

With people going out less, including to work and to the gym, weight gain is likely to become a real issue for many consumers. Dairy manufacturers are well-positioned to be a part of the solution. Examples of dairy products in the market that can address these new concerns include less sugar yogurts and lowfat flavored milks. Manufacturers can get ahead of this trend with targeted messaging that also emphasizes the role of dairy protein in satiety.

Premium Cheeses for At-Home Entertaining

At-home entertaining is on the rise as people search for ways to nurture their social lives during the pandemic shutdown. This year has seen an uptick in home baristas and bartenders as more people have used their time at home to learn how to make their favorite foodservice coffees and cocktails. This is a perfect opportunity for cheese manufacturers to share tips and photos on creating gourmet cheese plates that are sure to impress.

people outside eating dairy at table

High-Protein Dairy Beverages

High-protein dairy RTDs are also on track to do well in 2021. These protein-fortified drinkable yogurts, shakes, and flavored milks can be used as a healthy protein snack or as a meal replacement for busy consumers who are working from home. They can also work as a sports nutrition beverage due to their high protein levels. Also known for their vitamin and mineral content and variety of indulgent flavors, high-protein dairy RTDs are checking all the boxes for today’s consumers.

Collaborate with Glanbia for Healthy and Delicious Dairy Products

These dairy trends for the new year stand as a clear reminder of how important and relevant dairy products continue to be. Manufacturers who keep up with consumer trends are sure to succeed in delivering the health, convenience, and taste benefits that today’s consumers are looking for. 

We offer a wide variety of nutritional solutions to support dairy product development. Our Dairy-based Functional Protein Solutions, like OptiSol®1005 and 1007 dairy proteins offer improved product processing and flavor, enhanced creaminess and texture while supporting clean label initiatives. Our new UltaHi™ Protein Yogurt Technology provides a unique patent pending technology allowing for the ability to obtain over 50 g of protein in yogurt products in a variety of textures and with improved flavor. Additionally, we offer Probiotic Cheddar Cheese Solutions to support consumers’ interest in purchasing foods with functional health benefits. 

Contact us to learn about our wide range of dairy-based solutions and our custom premix solutions that allow for the addition of vitamins, minerals, and in-demand functional ingredients to your next dairy product.

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