Bringing Excitement to Dairy Products with Texture Innovation
Read how brands can bring excitement to dairy products through texture innovation whilst balancing it with consumers’ desire for healthier options.
23 Jun 2022
Due to prolonged pandemic-induced lockdowns in the last two years, consumers are now eager to break out of their confines and explore, play and embrace novel experiences according to Mintel 2022 Global Consumer Trend Enjoyment Everywhere.
This craving for new and shareable experiences is driving consumers towards products that can provide elevated sensory experiences.
Over two-thirds of Australian and New Zealand consumers love trying new experiences. When it comes to food and drink, about:
4 in 10
consumers in these markets say that they are looking for new foods or flavours to try most of the time1
Level Up Indulgence with Multi-Sensory Experiences
Texture plays a pivotal role in delivering a complete sensory experience and improving overall consumer appeal.
Niche buffalo milk is booming in China, thanks to its natural sweetness and smooth texture, featuring an ice-cream-like drinking experience. In addition to being a premium milk product, it has also entered various tea house menus.
Nearly half of Chinese consumers2 also attribute cheese to enhancing the flavor of tea drinks. We’ve seen how cream cheese has inspired thick, foamy textures and new flavors in many different beverages, including the trendy cheese teas in Asia Pacific.
This preference for additional ingredients in cheese-topped teas also suggests the potential to combine chewy textures and sour flavours with packaged cheese.
In the flavoured milk category,
of Indian consumers find thick flavoured milk more appealiing than regular flavoured milk3
One example is the Go Thick-a-Licious milkshake range from Indian dairy manufacturer Parag Milk Foods. It is made with UHT sterilised flavoured toned milk and claims to be "thicker than existing milkshake products in the market4".
Experiment with Playful Add-On Ingredients
Along with richer, thicker and creamier textures, the novelty factor of crunch or melt-in-the-mouth ingredient infusions is becoming appealing to consumers.
Over the past few years, brands have more prominently marketed texture claims of their products on the front-of-pack or in the product name. These playful add-on ingredients help enrich the taste and texture of dairy products like yoghurt, which is seen as an alternative choice for snacking occasions.
Mintel data shows that Thai women consumers, particularly Gen Z aged 18-245, are the demographic most interested in yoghurt products specifically made as a pre-, or, post-workout snack.
Brands are utilising textural ingredient inclusions to boost a product’s sensory experience, ranging from fruits to indulgent chocolate and biscuit pieces to grain-based ingredients such as muesli, cereal, and granola mixes.
The Yummy Yogurt range from Chinese brand Mengniu Chunzhen has added almonds, popping candies, freeze-dried yoghurt and dragon fruit dice to inject playfulness into the product4.
Consumers are more likely to be interested in textural ingredients when these enhance the corresponding flavour profile of the product.
Offer Permissible Indulgence
As consumers seek novelty, dairy players will need to balance indulgence with health claims. COVID-19 has brought the notion of healthy living to the forefront, and food and drink products that provide added functional health benefits are being sought out by consumers, driving interest for a range of functional benefits or better-for-you options.
This suggests opportunities for new product launches that complement texture innovation.
The use of natural ingredients, which often contain less sugar, fat and calories, can help dairy products hold firm on their health credentials.
These natural cues from incorporating natural sweeteners (e.g., honey, monk fruit, agave) to introducing no-added-sugar formulations into products can create an exciting taste experience and allow consumers to enjoy dairy as a healthy treat.
Brands should also not miss out on renewed interest in baking and cooking at home. Even the most seemingly mundane and everyday product interactions can offer a moment of joy, pleasure or escapism.
Do-it-at-home kits can be appealing to consumers who find preparing food a pleasurable pastime or an activity from which they garner enjoyment. They can also be attractive to those who want greater control over the ingredients that go into their food.
of yogurt consumers in the UK say they would be interested in a kit to make their own yoghurt or yoghurt drinks at home5
Through the lens of Mintel’s 2022 Global Consumer Trend Enjoyment Everywhere, dairy products can fit into this role seamlessly.
Beyond flavours, textural innovation can amplify the indulgence quotient to target experimental consumers, while enhancing nutrition or functional health benefits can address consumers’ rising health consciousness – positioning dairy as part of their evolving consumption occasion.
To read more, download this month's Perspective Publication below.
Account Director, Mintel ANZ
Merianah is Mintel’s Account Director for Australia and New Zealand. Merianah works closely with Mintel’s network of experts to provide clients with ground-breaking market intelligence. In this article, Merianah and her team of expert analysts have incorporated key insights from a range of internal sources to highlight the importance of texture innovation in dairy products.
Mintel Analyst’s expert recommendations have helped over 5,000 clients to make better business decisions faster. The team of global analysts have expertise in categories, ingredients, packaging, retail, science and trends, across specialist areas such as food, drink, personal care, lifestyles through to technology and media.
For more information, please visit www.mintel.com
The views expressed above are the opinion of the author, not those of Fonterra, and Fonterra is not responsible for any decisions taken in reliance on the same.
- Figure. 1: Mintel GNPD
- Figure 2: Mintel GNPD
- 1. 1,000 internet users aged 18+
- 2. 2,054 internet users aged 18-49 who have purchased tea drinks from tea houses in the last 6 months
- 3. 3,000 internet users aged 18+
- 4. Mintel GNPD
- 5. 5 1,500 internet users aged 18+
- 6. 1,632 internet users aged 16+ who typically eat/drink yogurt or yogurt drinks