ADM has found that almost half (49%) of global consumers claim to have adjusted their diet to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and that around a third (30%) have chosen to boycott a brand or product due to its ethical credentials. Farmer and worker rights are also of growing priority, with 40% stating that they seek out brands that treat farmers and growers ethically. Operating within the Food and Beverage Executive Recruitment space, Connect Search is taking a look at raw milk and plant-based alternatives in the dairy sector.
Natural ingredients and fortification
According to Beneo, consumers — whether vegan, lactose-intolerant or following a “flexitarian” lifestyle — choose plant-based dairy alternatives because they are perceived to be healthier. In plant-based dairy, fortification is where significant opportunities exist. Chloe Downs, technical account manager at Prinova explained “One area of interest for us is trying to replicate the vitamin blend that exists in conventional dairy milk into plant-based alternatives. There are limitations, but we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise with micronization and other processes to enable nutrients to stay suspended within milk itself.”
At FiE 2022, Prinova unveiled Aquamin, a marine-derived ingredient that could boost calcium and magnesium content in plant-based beverages. “Aquamin can be used in dairy and fortified plant alternatives to boost mineral content,” Downs explained. “It is a natural ingredient with minimal impact on flavour, texture and colour, and enables clean label claims.”
A stronger focus on health
The new year will, once again, bring an increased emphasis on health initiatives. And for many consumers, this includes a continued focus on dairy-free milk options. These options continue to find popularity not just in the milk section of stores, but in ice creams and other dairy-based products and treats. Since 1975, Americans have continually drank less cow milk than the year before. For many consumers, this change comes out of a concern about the negative impact of lactose in a person’s diet, as well as the impact on both the environment and the animals used to produce raw milk.
But when it comes to the health benefits of raw milk, many consumers believe that the positives of drinking plant-based milk are the same as drinking dairy milk (when cow milk continues to have the highest nutritional value to consumers). As we enter 2023, awareness around the true nutritional value of cow milk compared with plant-based milks could contribute to higher dairy sales. Similarly, a focus on ethical dairy processes and treatment of animals will be top of mind for consumers, and likewise should be top of mind for all dairy-focused companies.
As International Search specialists in the Food and Beverage sector, Connect boasts an in depth knowledge of the latest trends in this sector. If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Connect Search today. Speak to one of our industry specialists on email@example.com or head to our Contact Us page.