‘Head in the yogurt:’ the future for dairy brands
Is the dairy market on the turn?
At first glance, no. Concerns about healthy eating in the young adult market (Nielsen’s recommended target demographic for snack producers) are driving growth in flavoured milk and yogurt drinks, and cheese continues its steady year-on-year growth.
However, the 25–34 age bracket is more concerned about fats than any other: 27% of households within this age bracket have at least one dieter on the premises, and 42% of young adult shoppers specifically look for fat content on product packaging. This high awareness makes the market volatile. All it takes is fat to replace sugar as public enemy number one, and dairy producers will be stuck where cereals are now: slashing content and frantically rebranding in the face of declining sales.
How can dairy brands prepare for future accusations of unhealthiness?
Agility and adaptability are the only ways to deal with a sudden turn in the market. You’ll need a plan for your brand to survive future challenges, and the capacity to implement that plan as soon as the priority shift occurs.
Design-led innovation is a proven means to this particular end. Rather than changing the product, design-led innovation changes the meaning which consumers attach to it. For dairy producers, this means noticing that of the top diets for 2016, the ones actually recommended by health experts are about portion control rather than avoiding food groups altogether. The well-prepared producer can then introduce portion control to the brand through selling multipacks as “portion pots” or similar.