Milking It – Just The Numbers
According to IRI, refrigerated whole-milk dollar sales jumped 1.2% to $5,430.2 million during the 52 weeks ending Sept. 5, 2021. NielsenIQ’s data for the 52 weeks ending July 3, 2021, showed plant-based alternative milk dollar sales reached $2.4 billion, a one-year increase of 9.8% and a two-year jump of 27%. Dairy-based, plant-based, and hybrid formulas are a fertile ground of innovation for milk trends with a resurgence of whipped cream.
Although dairy-based milks are facing competition from alt milks, there has been some interesting innovation in the dairy space. Organic Valley added Fat-Free Grassmilk to its portfolio while Maple Hill Creamery released Maple Hill Zero-Sugar Organic ultrafiltered milk in Whole and Reduced Fat varieties. Fairlife unveiled Good Moo’d, a new line of lactose-free milks made with patented ultra-filtration, which contains 25% less sugar than the leading lactose-free milk. The products are offered in three variants: Whole, Fat Free and 2% Reduced Fat. To target tweens and teens, Kemps created Siips, a line of shelf-stable milk beverages. The flavors include Caramel, Chocolate, and Mocha. Hershey teamed up with the a2 Milk Company to create a co-branded Chocolate Milk. The milk combines Hershey’s cocoa with 2% reduced fat milk that contains only A2 betacasein protein. It is expected to launch this month.
Brands are tapping into the flexitarian lifestyle and are creating hybrid milks that combine dairy and plant-based ingredients. Shamrock Farms crafted Swirled, a dairy and plant-based hybrid beverage. It is offered in two flavors: Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Almond Coconut. The products are formulated with a blend of cocoa, coconut cream, and almonds as well as Shamrock milk. Similarly, in France, under the Pâquerette & Compagnie brand, Triballat launched a new hybrid milk that is a blend of 50% cow’s milk and 50% plant-based ingredients. The beverages are available in Almond, Hazelnut and Oat SKUs.
Plant-based milks continue to trend. Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) brand PlantBaby introduced Kiki Milk, an organic plant-based milk made exclusively for kids. The milks are available in Original and Chocolate flavors and contain oats, coconuts, blueberries, cacao, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, Aquamin (seaweed), spinach, bananas, and coconut sugar. Australia-based Ulu Hye launched jars of concentrated Mylk Bases made from nuts and seeds. The products are shelf-stable and allow consumers to add water and a sweetener when they are ready for a beverage. The products are available in four bases: Almond, Hazelnut, Hemp, and Original Nut made from cashews, macadamias, and almonds. Swedish brand Dug released Potato Milk in three formulas Barista, Original, and Unsweetened. In January, Danone North America is launching Silk Nextmilk and So Delicious Wondermilk “designed to help close the gap between traditional dairy drinkers and plant-based beverage consumers.” Both brands will offer Whole Fat and Reduced Fat varieties.
Now that nostalgic flavors and comforting sweets are on-trend, there has been a resurgence of whipped cream innovation. Shamrock Farms has added new flavors to its whipping creams line including Decadent Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla Pumpkin Spice, and Vanilla Bourbon. Reddi-wip launched Zero Sugar made with sucralose, which is keto-friendly. Cardi B dropped Whipshots, a dairy-free whipped cream infused with vodka in partnership with Starco Brands. It is offered in three flavors: Caramel, Mocha, and Vanilla.
Milk is a staple, regardless of its formulation. Expect to see more innovation in the category including dairy-based, plant-based and hybrid formulas.