Food Business News - July 10, 2018 - 72
DAIRY BUSINESS NEWS
'I can't believe it's not ...'
Dairy alternatives gain share as quality improves
and consumers turn to plant-based options
uch dairy alternatives as imitation
cheese, coffee whitener and margarine have been around for a long
time. In fact, many of them are regulated
with their own standard of identity.
Historically, the applications were
created as an economical alternative
to real dairy. Their foundation is the
swapping of vegetable oil for milkfat,
as the former is less expensive than the
latter. In some instances, formulations
still contain dairy ingredients, hence,
the products are not dairy-free. Products
that are dairy-free appeal to consumers
with dairy allergies.
Dairy alternatives also have had a
prominent role in prepared foods manufacturing. Their processed nature makes
it easier to manipulate functionality.
"Dairy analogs have historically
been used as a way to reduce cost, either
by extending natural cheese in different
applications or as a way to completely
remove a real dairy ingredient," said
Beth Warren, chief commercial officer,
Edlong, Elk Grove Village, Ill. "Analogs
were usually associated with low cost
and low quality.
"Traditionally they have been
viewed as inferior in flavor to their
natural counterparts. They were seen
as a functional piece and fed into
Consumer interest in free-from products
has spurred growth in the dairy alternative
manufacturers for use in pizzas and
Such products still exist; however,
the dairy alternative sector has evolved
into being vegetarian, often vegan. The
selling proposition these days is the product being plant based, not its price. In fact,
alternatives often are sold at a premium.
"Dairy alternatives are on a rise
as consumers are increasingly going
dairy-free, particularly when it comes to
fluid milk used on things like cereal or in
coffees," said Tom Bailey, senior analyst
- dairy, Rabobank, New York. "Dairy
alternatives have competed in the dairy
space for decades, but competition has intensified as dairy alternatives broaden in
types, styles and categories of product."
There's no denying, global retail
sales of dairy alternatives has climbed
at an impressive rate of 8% annually
the past 10 years. Retail milk alternative
sales are valued at $15.6 billion, according to Euromonitor International.
"Consumers are actively seeking foods
MCCONNELL'S, DAIYA AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Food Business News
July 10, 2018