Dairy ingredient potential in toddler nutrition category

Products formulated for toddlers with nutrition rich dairy ingredients represent a large untapped opportunity for food and beverage brands.

The popularity of dairy ingredients such as whey continues to rise in the mainstream food market, and they are already well established as key ingredients in the tightly regulated infant formula sector. However, Arla Foods Ingredients says they remain under used in products aimed at children in the 1-3 years age bracket, a crucial period in every child’s development.

According to Euromonitor, the global toddler food and beverage market was worth €30 billion in 2015, making it significantly bigger than the €22.1bn infant formula market. Sales of toddler products are forecast to post a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% between now and 2018 to reach €42bn, indicating the potential this market offers.

“As they transition from babies to toddlers, young children enter a new phase in which they leave behind their exclusively milk based diet,” says Anne Staudt Kvistgaard, senior manager for pediatric at Arla Foods Ingredients. “They begin to eat a more varied selection of food and drink and develop their own preferences. In addition, due to their limited stomach capacity and high activity levels, toddlers will often get hungry, and naturally they will crave the most tempting foods.

“All of this means it’s very important that parents make certain their child’s needs are met to support proper growth. The toddler years are a crucial period during which it’s important to ensure children receive the right nutrients and develop healthy eating habits.”

As part of its new Goodness of Dairy campaign, Arla Foods Ingredients has offered a range of dairy ingredient solutions containing high quality proteins and minerals from milk that will enable manufacturers to create products that parents will want to buy and toddlers will want to eat.

Kvistgaard adds, “A child’s diet during the sensitive toddler years is a key determinant of their health both in the short and long term. Even though they are leaving behind their milk based diet, proteins and minerals from milk should continue to form the bedrock of their diet to ensure they get a healthy start in life. For food and beverage companies, this offers an excellent opportunity to create products that are perfectly balanced for a toddler’s specific needs, and which will appeal to parent’s keen to ensure the best possible diet for their children.”

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