Dairy Drinks, Milk and Cream - Europe - October 2011
“The European dairy drinks markets are always at risk of descending into commodity status. Health concerns over whole milk have made semi-skimmed milk the dominant product, one which lends itself perfectly to generic own-brands. Volume sales, in particular, need to be increased among elderly consumers; who are increasingly aware of the health risks of drinking too much full fat milk. With the uptake of yogurt drinks showing promising potential in this respect, manufacturers may wish to polarize the market. On the one hand they may wish to promote the ultra-fresh and natural character of whole milk, while also developing more products with functional claims, aimed specifically at the health concerns of the elderly consumer.”
– James Manley, European Food and Drink Analyst
Some key points covered in the report include:
• Could a rise of awareness of lactose intolerance be counter-productive? While suppliers may well succeed with lactose-reduced lines, the presence of these variants in the market may remind consumers that humans often naturally lose the ability to digest lactose well as they age.
• Will suppliers be able to reach under-represented consumer groups, such as the elderly and singles, by addressing their needs more directly or differently? This may be easier to achieve in the drinking yogurt and flavoured milk sectors.
• Can milk reinvent itself via combinations with other beverages without jeopardising its image? Flavoured milk does well in some countries, but lacks support in others, and has even been banned from some school canteens on health grounds. There is also milk with juice, though its appeal is often limited.
• Can cream defy the odds and triumph in a low-fat future? The task is an uphill one. Cream is, with butter, much more essentially fat than most other foodstuffs.
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