Nowadays, there is so much excitement around plant-based alternative foods, and for good reason. In 2022 sales of plant-based products hit $8 billion in the US alone.
Plant-based milks are far and away the main driver of this growth, raking in $2.8 Billion alone, double that of the second most popular category, plant-based meats ($1.4 billion). When looking at plant-based dairy as a whole (yoghurts, creamers, etc.), that number tops $4.1 billion, making up over half of the entire market.
Still, even with the buzz around the growth of the plant-based dairy segment, it’s easy to miss that animal-based dairy isn’t going anywhere. While plant-based milk sales grew 9% in 2022, dairy milk grew 10% to nearly $16 billion over that same period. This growth isn’t just milk either; in June of this year, almost every category of animal-based dairy saw double-digit sales growth over the previous year.
The truth is that despite the impressive growth of plant-based dairy alternatives, according to McKinsey & Company, only 5% of consumers are purchasing plant-based exclusively. This is in stark comparison to the 71% that exclusively go for animal-based dairy, while 24% enjoy some combination of the two.
Simply put, there is something about dairy’s rich, indulgent creaminess that consumers can’t get enough of. It’s not just delicious and decadent but, for many, can even be nostalgic.
From chasing down the ice cream truck on a hot summer day to the layers of cheesy nachos at a sporting match or even the buttery goodness lathered on your popcorn at the cinema, the taste of dairy continues to be a part of our lives.
Recreating these iconic and memorable profiles for plant-based just can’t be done without the power of authentic flavours like Edlong’s. However, can the same be said for “real” dairy?
Dairy for Daily Life – Convenience and Comfort
As consumers’ lives get busier and more hectic, few things matter more than convenience and comfort.
Although comfort might remain a nice to have, products that are convenient and nutritious are quickly turning into need to haves for many consumers.
For developers of dairy products, meeting these demands without sacrificing the distinctive qualities consumers have come to expect is no small feat.
Part of the Process – Building Back What Is Lost
Creating dairy products that taste great and conveniently fit into consumers’ daily lives often comes with a unique set of hurdles.
One of the primary taste challenges facing these products comes from the harsh processing they require.
While necessary for everything from cheese dips and sauces to fortified beverages and more, these methods often are performed under extreme temperatures that can significantly impact the taste perception of the end-user.
This is where our dairy flavours can work wonders for getting your product back in line with expectations.
For example, many dairy beverage products lose their characterising freshness after processing. Additionally, some beverages look to improve the nutritional quality of the product by fortifying them with milk proteins. The increase in protein can often add unwanted off-notes, pushing you further from your taste targets.
This is where specific flavour combinations of our creams or fresh milks, are used to help build back the fresh creaminess consumers are looking for. Many of these flavours can work double-duty, by also masking the off-notes that take away from the enjoyment of your product.
Cheese sauces, dips and other processed cheese products are another set of common offering that your processing can negatively affect. The volatile flavour compounds that give them their signature taste qualities can be lost during processing, leaving them bland and unmemorable. Fortunately, our wide range of cheese flavours can authentically rebuild even the most exotic profiles.
Moreover, with a number of our flavours being heat-stable, developers can create convenient dairy products with confidence.
The Sweet Life – Adding Flavours & Novelty
While our dairy flavours are great for bringing product profiles back in line with expectations, sometimes it’s about having even more of a good thing.
After all, nothing screams rich, creamy, and indulgent like dessert.
But it’s not just the decadence consumers are after; it’s the comfort they crave.
They turn to treats like ice cream as a reward or an escape, and the more luxurious the experience, the more of a premium they’re willing to pay.
This is where our range of sweet dairy flavours can help you create just that.
Flavours like our sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche, for example, can add layers of depth and richness at a fraction of the cost (and calories) as the actual ingredients.
Looking to add SKUs and extend your product line? Our flavours can help you innovate novel profiles that get your consumers excited and maybe even become their new favourites.
Wherever the future demands of consumers take your products, Edlong will be there to make them everything dairy can be.
About the Author: Emily Sheehan, Applications Manager, EMEA
Hi! I’m Emily Sheehan. I’m the Applications Manager, EMEA at Edlong, and my job is rooted in creating exciting new possibilities for our people and processes. It’s inspiring to reflect on how much Edlong has achieved and even more amazing to be involved in such thoughtful innovation. We enjoy pushing boundaries in food and flavour, and we welcome everyone in the food industry to join us. If you’re in need of expertise or inspiration, I’d love to collaborate and help you design flavour solutions that resonate with consumers!