03 March 2016
Making the most of milk’s health halo

By Eliseo Barcas, vice president of sales, Tetra Pak U.S. & Canada
 
From a beloved childhood beverage to a daily addition in our morning coffee and cereal, many consumers have a longstanding affinity for milk.
 
But while consumers around the world see milk as a tasty source of nutrition, many also feel that variety and convenience are not keeping pace with their lifestyles and expectations. Here are some of the top consumer behaviors that could inform big opportunities for dairy innovation, according to an international consumer study commissioned by Tetra Pak as part of its 2015 Dairy Index.
 
A desire for healthy living options
Healthy living is top of mind for consumers who realize that what they eat and drink affects the way they look and feel. More than half of consumers surveyed reported paying close attention to the ingredients found in the foods they buy. As a result, food and beverage companies are eager to offer innovative new products and retailers are ready to stock their shelves with offerings that complement these health-conscious lifestyles.
 
For milk, this means showcasing specific health benefits. Portuguese company Lactogal’s Bem Especial, for example, offers a line of functional milk beverages with varieties for Bones (with Calcium and Vitamin D), Heart (with Omega3, EPA & DHA), Digestion (Fiber), and Kids Growth (for children under three). Sweden’s Arla brand, meanwhile, markets its protein milk beverages for consumption before and after exercise as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
 
Looking beyond simple snacking
When it comes to balancing work and leisure, nearly two-thirds of consumers say they were willing to pay more for simple, hassle-free experiences according to the 2015 Global Brand Simplicity Index. For retailers, this translates to higher demand for convenient and customized products. There is a clear opportunity for milk to fill in the gaps that traditional snacks can’t quite satisfy.
 
Think of it as designer dairy made for modern living. In Chile, Yogu Yogu’s range of drinkable yogurt beverages is marketed as an on-the go treat for an active, school-aged demographic. In the UK, Nestle Carnation makes cooking easier for consumers, with a light cooking cream for savory dishes that contains half the amount of fat found in single cream.
 
It’s OK to indulge sometimes
Amid the dual desires of health and convenience, consumers still crave an occasional treat.
 
Some dairy brands are already catering to the idea of pampering consumers. In Norway, Tine’s line of IsKaffe - RTD coffee drinks are easy to enjoy on the go and come in a range of indulgent flavors including cappuccino, mocha, and coffee latte. In the UK, consumers looking for a delicious jolt of caffeine can reach for a “Skinny” Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.
 
Clearly, capitalizing on milk’s tasty, healthy glow is a big opportunity for dairy producers. Because consumers already love milk and understand its benefits, it will come down to understanding and delivering options that understand their health and lifestyle priorities in a simple, convenient form.


Eliseo Barcas, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Tetra Pak, U.S., has extensive expertise in understanding and maximizing market trends and supporting customers through strategic portfolio deployment. For more than two decades, he has collaborated with customers and served as a leader on sales and marketing teams in Europe, North America and South America, focusing on fast-moving consumer goods and business-to-business sectors. He currently leads commercial and marketing efforts for Tetra Pak U.S., including defining strategy for the shelf-stable carton portfolio and directing its successful execution.
 
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