Cultured Dairy Products Shine

Consumers have more options in the cultured dairy section, including savory flavors and drinkable yogurts.

April 08, 2016

MORTON GROVE, Ill. – Cultured dairy products are coming into their own these days, with bolder flavors and more varieties, Dairy Foods reports. “We expect to see a rise in savory and spicy dairy recipes, as consumers continue to explore adding cultured foods to their diets given all of the health benefits,” said Derek Miller with Lifeway Foods. “With a growing concern about added sugars, consumers are looking for different options and avenues to consume their favorite foods—kefir included.”

Yogurt sales remain steady, while dip and cream cheese sales have been on the rise. Spoonable and drinkable yogurt segments should continue to see upticks in sales through the end of the decade. “Consumer interest in cultured products is growing all over the grocery store,” said Doug Martin, director of marketing in the yogurt division of General Mills. “From the growth of kombucha and kefir in beverage to fermented cultured products like kimchi and pickles, to the continued steady growth in yogurt, consumers seem to be increasingly aware that cultured food can help them maintain a healthy gut.”

Consumer interest in spicy and savory flavors have crossed into the dairy aisle, with flavors such as sriracha mango, chipotle pineapple, blackberry serrano and red pepper harissa. “Consumer palates appear to be expanding, moving into more complex flavor profiles like spicy and bitter,” said Beth Bloom with Mintel. “I think there’s some influence from international food trends introduced through foodservice.”

With the perception of whole milk changing from something to be avoided to something to be consumed, many cultured dairy makers are adding whole milk options to their lines. “Whole milk dairy products are definitely on the rise, thanks to studies showing that a little added fat might actually be good for you. Consumers are demanding more minimally processed ‘whole’ foods, and the market is going to respond,” Miller said.