Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Dairy market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Consumption and use of dairy and dairy-alternative products rose in 2020, driven by an overall increase in at-home food and beverage consumption. Dairy categories therefore face a key opportunity to maintain the gains achieved in 2020 or risk falling back to pre-pandemic stagnation. Flavor innovation can excite mature dairy categories in the flavored dairy market, and can retain dairy’s relevance among consumers who purchase both dairy and dairy-alternative products, a key consumer segment for dairy brands and one highly interested in flavor experiences. 28% of dual dairy type consumers say they go out of their way to try new flavored dairy and/or dairy-alternative products compared to 20% of all consumers.

While most consumers purchase dairy products, dairy categories will face dwindling sales as the total share of dairy exclusive consumers declines. Dairy brands must expand past their core older dairy exclusive consumers and develop products that resonate with Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X consumers. Dairy product flavor innovation is therefore necessary for dairy to remain relevant among younger consumers.

Dairy-alternative products are trending, yet sales of dairy products dwarf those of dairy alternatives, and only 7% of consumers are dairy alternative exclusively. Dairy-alternative product flavor innovation as well as inclusion of ingredients with functional benefits makes dairy-alternative products more appealing to dual dairy type consumers.

Dairy and dairy-alternative flavor and ingredient opportunities include co-branded flavored products that deliver on fun and nostalgia, spicy flavors that appeal to Gen Z consumers, alcohol-flavored cheeses and products that combine the best of dairy with the best of dairy alternatives.

Read on to discover more about the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Dairy consumer market, read our Milk and Non-Dairy Milk – US – 2021 report, or take a look at our other Dairy Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the dairy and dairy alternatives markets.
  • Consumer interest in dairy and dairy-alternative product flavors.
  • Flavor interest by specific dairy category.
  • Preferences of dairy exclusive consumers, dairy-alternative exclusive consumers and dual dairy type consumers.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Kraft, Daiya, Miyoko, Nestlé, International Delight, Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House, All Spice, Arby’s, Firebirds, Kona Grill, Modmarket, Trio Bistro, Wegman’s, Plant Perks, Tillamook, Face Rock Creamery, Yoplait, Three Trees, Silk Ultra, Chobani Complete,  4th & Heart, Publix, Good & Gather, Epicurean Butter, Emporium Selection, Sartori, Trader Joe’s, Fiscalini Farmstead, H-E-B Select Ingredients, Alejandro, Reddi Wip, Starbucks, Califia Farms, Kitu Super Creamer, The Laughing Cow, Live Real Farms, Dah!, Milkis, Copper Cow Coffee, Joy Milk Tea, Culina, Norr Organic, Maison Riviera, Ellenos.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Caleb Bryant, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Innovation is necessary for dairy categories to remain relevant, as consumers increasingly purchase both dairy and dairy-alternative products. Develop products that provide consumers with unique dairy flavor experiences and incorporate ingredients that enhance dairy’s functional benefits. Spicy cheeses featuring unique chilies appeal to Gen Z’s love of heat and provide older consumers with unique twists on familiar ingredients while also promoting dairy products’ clean ingredient labels.
Caleb Bryant, Associate Director of Food and Drink Reports
Caleb Bryant
Associate Director of Food and Drink Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on dairy
                      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on dairy, 2021
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Dual dairy type consumers want flavor experiences
                        • Figure 2: Dairy and dairy-alternative consumption, 2021
                        • Figure 3: Interest in trying new dairy flavors, by dairy type consumption, 2021
                      • Co-branded products provide consumers fun and familiar flavors
                        • Figure 4: Dairy behaviors and preferences, by dairy type consumption, 2021
                      • Heat up dairy for Gen Z consumers
                        • Figure 5: Go-to dairy flavors: savory, by generation, 2021
                    • The Market – Key Takeaways

                      • Flavor innovation can excite stagnant dairy categories
                        • Changing demographics and consumer attitudes benefits non-dairy categories
                          • Dual dairy product consumers want new flavor experiences
                          • Target Audience by the Numbers

                            • Dual dairy type users are adventurous eaters
                              • Figure 6: Dairy and dairy-alternative demographic profiles, index against all consumers, 2021
                              • Figure 7: Dairy and dairy-alternative flavor attitudes, index against all consumers, 2021
                          • Market Factors

                            • Build upon consumers’ updated cooking skills
                              • Worsening impacts of climate change may spur consumption of plant-based products
                                • Figure 8: Reasons for purchasing dairy alternatives, by generation, 2021
                              • Dairy must evolve to remain relevant with younger consumers
                                • Figure 9: US population by generation, 2016-26
                            • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                              • Use branded flavors to provide consumers comfort and familiarity
                                • Spice is right for younger consumers
                                  • Combine the best of dairy and non-dairy
                                  • Product Development – Now – What’s Trending

                                    • Co-branding provides consumers the flavors they know and love
                                      • Figure 10: Creamer product interest, by creamer amount usage, 2021
                                    • Smoked dairy flavors trend on menus
                                      • Figure 11: Menu examples, smoked dairy ingredients, 2021
                                    • Brands enhance dairy with functional ingredients
                                      • Figure 12: Plus claims, dairy and non-dairy product launches, 2017-21
                                      • Figure 13: Functional claims, dairy and non-dairy product launches, 2017-21
                                    • Enhance home-cooked meals with restaurant-quality flavored butters
                                      • Figure 14: Top 15 growing butter flavors on menus, Q1 2018 to Q1 2021
                                  • Product Development – Near – What to Watch For

                                    • Alcohol flavors bring fun and sophistication to cheese
                                      • Figure 15: Perception score, T2B 5-pt scale, cheese with alcohol flavors vs all cheese, products launched between January 2019 and August 2021
                                      • Figure 16: Menu examples, dairy ingredients with alcohol flavors, 2021
                                    • Spice up the dairy aisle
                                      • Figure 17: Menu examples, dairy ingredients with chili flavors, 2021
                                    • Creamers can provide consumers coffee shop experiences and functional benefits
                                      • Figure 18: Creamer functional ingredient interest, by creamer usage, 2021
                                  • Product Development – Next – What’s in the Pipeline

                                    • Blend dairy with non-dairy ingredients to get the best of both worlds
                                      • Look to APAC for product inspiration
                                        • Botanical ingredients can provide functional benefits and flavor experiences
                                        • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                          • Brands must vie for the attention of dual dairy type consumers
                                            • Young consumers want flavor excitement, older consumers want familiar and clean formulations
                                              • Appeal to Gen Z’s love of heat
                                              • Dairy and Dairy-Alternative Consumption

                                                • Majority of consumers are dairy exclusive
                                                  • Figure 19: Dairy and dairy-alternative consumption, 2021
                                              • Go-to Dairy Flavors – Sweet

                                                • Almond and vanilla can act as a base for other flavors
                                                  • Figure 20: Go-to dairy flavors: sweet, by dairy type consumption, 2021
                                                • Gen Z and Millennials are flavor explorers
                                                  • Figure 21: Go-to dairy flavors: sweet, by generation, 2021
                                              • Go-to Dairy Flavors – Savory

                                                • Savory flavors appeal to dual dairy-type consumers
                                                  • Figure 22: Go-to dairy flavors: savory, by dairy type consumption, 2021
                                                • Gen Z will take their dairy with a touch of heat
                                                  • Figure 23: Go-to dairy flavors: savory, by generation, 2021
                                              • Dairy Flavor Innovation Interest by Product Type – Sweet

                                                • Consumers prefer savory over sweet cream cheese and dips
                                                  • Figure 24: Dairy flavor innovation interest by product type – Sweet flavors, 2021
                                              • Dairy Flavor Innovation Interest by Product Type – Savory

                                                • Imbue cheese with spicy and smoky flavors
                                                  • Figure 25: Dairy flavor innovation interest by product type – Savory flavors, 2021
                                              • Dairy Behaviors and Preferences

                                                • Keep it real for dual-type consumers
                                                  • Figure 26: Dairy behaviors and preferences, by dairy-type consumption, 2021
                                                • Familiar flavors and natural formulation appeals to Baby Boomers
                                                  • Figure 27: Dairy behaviors and preferences, by generation, 2021
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                      • Abbreviations

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