From probiotics to flavored milk for kids, powdered to empowered, the future of dairy represents a $1 billion opportunity for retailers to minimize the environmental footprint while reinventing the dairy department and enhancing the shopper’s experience. With dairy trends of the future, it’s important to address the various factors that can help contribute to this $1 billion industry. While balancing consumer demands and meeting sales, it’s also important to consider tomorrow’s shoppers and the perception of dairy.
In building a shopper-centric department, the future of dairy has shifted dramatically. With more research and comprehensive testing, retailers are seeing a dramatic increase in their dairy sales. In 2010, tests involving over 340,000 shopping trips showed that it is possible to leverage insights and drive sales for increased growth by identifying barriers and removing them. These changes include optimizing store shelf space, enhancing perception about dairy through advertisements and restructuring the product placement of dairy products on store shelves through product innovation and optimized sales.
Consumer confidence in the dairy industry begins in the farming communities. With the National Dairy Farm Program, this is a program that has been established to help show the consistent levels of care give to animals on all farms across the United States. These are critical outlines to help ensure the highest level of care is maintained and that the public understands that proper care and humane treatment is given to all animals on dairy farms with farmers, assuring responsible management and animal care.
Nutrition for children
An important aspect in this industry for the future is offering unique packaging that enhances dairy with every meal. The benefits of dairy with important ingredients such as probiotics, added nutrition and supplements are important to parents while children may enjoy such added factors as flavored milk and containers with colorful advertisements or cartoons. Unique packing benefits at mealtime as children are able to make decisions and choose dairy as an important part of their school meals. This in turn helps them to make decisions about dairy well into adulthood.
As more people turn to dairy for its various health benefits, aside from the traditional food pyramid, it’s important to embrace dairy-specific points for consumers that may need lactose-free dairy and hormone-free dairy or other types of modifications that can enhance their specific experience to tailor dairy to their diet and daily intake.
From farm to table
With the sustainability of dairy for the future, it’s important to note that with over 1000 U.S. processing plants, milk transportation is vital to the shipment of dairy into tanker trucks. The average truck carries 5,800 gallons of milk and may travel up to 500-miles. Newer trucks are used with better materials to ensure there is no production loss or delay with processing milk into cheese, ice cream, yogurt and powdered milk or other products.
With milk production, cows are kept and fed in farms all over the United States and their diets have been modified to offer more corn, hay, soybeans and alfalfa. Feed can come directly from farms, but about 35% is imported to ensure the production of feed for cows.
On farms, waste management is vital to minimizing the carbon footprint left behind. Farms are working on building energy efficient products that can help throughout the dairy supply chain to increase feed efficiency, ensure the health of the herds, reduce the enteric methane and improve the management of manure waste, disposal and usage.
Packaging and distribution have also seen dramatic changes as these are now handled with dairy processors. By using biodegradable plastic and paperboard containers, these leave less of a footprint on the environment and offer a clean and wholesome dairy product. Distribution companies help to deliver various types of dairy products to retail stores, schools, shopping centers and other retailers in refrigerated trucks to maintain their shelf-life before sale and consumption.
With products available at over 178,000 retail outlets, it’s important that dairy for the future is available for sale in all types of grocery stores, large retailers and warehouse facilities. Because dairy offers vital nutrition to the diet of Americans, it’s imperative that dairy for the future is nutritious, well-packaged, sustainable, and attainable and leaves the smallest footprint on the environment.
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