Dairy Innovation Summit

April 03 - 04, 2019

InnovationS & Trends:

Innovation in the context of the outlined challenges needs to be multifaceted to maximize the potential for success: Functionality, Nutrition, Processability, Sustainability, Packaging, Taste and Price.

key trends:

  • Clean label: Consumers focus on natural and fewer ingredients, minimally processed food, GM-free - search for transparency & authenticity
  • Sustainability: Consumers look to make more mindful food choices with a focus on the environment and high ethical standards
  • Plant-based: Plant-based food meets consumers needs in terms of health, sustainability and an interest in a novel taste experience
  • Sugar reduction: Sugar has taken over from fat and has become linked to obesity and diabetes – consumers, therefore, look for sugar-reduced food but with acceptable taste and texture and no artificial sweetener  
Market Drivers:
  • According to a study (n=9.000 in key global dairy markets) presented by Dairygold, 22% of consumers claim to have reduced their intake of dairy. Why? Health: 56%, Lifestyle change: 31%, To look better: 16%, Animal Welfare: 16%, Have more energy: 16%, Doctor advice: 15%, Environment: 14%
  • According to research recorded in 2017, the sales on UK plant-based milk reached £376m, while traditional milk grew just 5% larger than that of the year before. The highest grossing of those alternatives was almond milk, accounting for two in every three pints sold. Although the dairy market is showing negative signs towards industry growth, it’s not too late to claw back the losses that have so far been made
  • Commonly seen as a campaign driven by millennials, the plant-based industry has soared at a rate of 8% annually over the last ten years. However, this is not just a craze supported by this niche market, health and fitness is something being pushed massively as regulations on unhealthy foods and drinks are now more prominent than ever
  • Unlike our body’s natural absorption of nutrients from dairy milk, plant-based products contain compounds known as anti-nutrients, preventing the absorption of nutrients within. This Interferes with the absorption of all-important minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and copper and causing them to be non-absorbable
Sustainability:
  • According to a study from the University of Oxford on 'Environmental Impact of Vegan Milks', producing a glass of dairy milk every day for a year requires 650 sq m (7000 sq ft) of land, the equivalent of two tennis courts and more than 10 times as much as the same amount of oat milk
  • Dairy actors like Danone bring solutions to reduce or compensate GHG emissions to lower the big impact of agriculture. The emission of methane is being studied by researchers to be reduced. But the top solutions remain to value methane through biogas production (so far)
  • Sustainability is not just a marketing issue anymore!
  • Today companies like Unilever, Danone, Friesland Campina are audited on their (public) sustainability goals >> active government policies on sustainable production
  • New investments are separated in grey and green. For green investments, longer payback times are tolerated. Some companies only accept investments with lower carbon footprints
  • Companies become aware that sustainability can go hand in hand with making more profit
  • Sustainability branding enlarges markets 
Conclusion:
  • The dairy industry needs to embrace “datafication” that offers opportunities to increase the rate of change and improve innovation outputs
  • The nutritional fundamentals of dairy are strong, and a growing global population requires nourishment
  • The vegans are gaining territory: a nebula of activists exists, and some of them publish content which is far more engaging for young audiences (future consumers) than corporate content
  • The young audience (Millennials) is permanently influenced by online content that drives their milk consumption to plant-based / dairy free territories: no more animal suffering, higher respect of the planet, mind and body-satisfying
  • The dairy industry should accept these challenges with great seriousness and show proofs of understanding and goodwill towards optimal animal welfare and eco-friendly sustainability
  • In a nutshell: show the capacity of the sector to evolve on the millennials preferred platforms, based on measurable facts