Dairy growth opportunity for cheese snacks

Reinventing cheese as a naturally healthier snack is the biggest growth opportunity for dairy companies, reveals a report by New Nutrition Business.

Cheese has had a major boost from scientific research showing that it is one of nature’s ‘naturally functional’ whole foods, with no negatives either from fat or sodium content. Now, new sales numbers show that connecting cheese to the snackification trend spells market success.

“For profitable growth, premium niches are the highest opportunity, least risk targets in dairy. In almost every case the most effective strategy for profitable dairy growth is to begin by focusing on the low volume, high value segments of the market,” says Julian Mellentin, director of New Nutrition Business.

Spire Brands is a company that found a simple solution for a growing consumer need. Its Moon Cheese snack containing dried pieces of Gouda, cheddar or pepper jack achieved a €9 million run rate in early 2016 with prospects to double annual revenues to about €18 million in 2017.

For years cheese has been out of favour because of its high fat content and faulty research linking it to cardiovascular disease. But new consumer awareness about the health benefits of cheese means there is scope for growth in countries where cheese consumption has been low.

“Non-dairy dairy is both an opportunity and a threat. Dairy companies must take note of the trend and know how to respond to it which in many cases means entering the market,” explains Joana Maricato, senior market analyst at New Nutrition Business.

Danone has turned non-dairy into an opportunity by acquiring WhiteWave, thus becoming both one of the world’s biggest dairy companies and the world’s biggest non-dairy company.

Almond and coconut milk brands have been capitalising on people’s interest in digestive health, positioning themselves as ‘easier to digest’ than dairy milk. Addressing people’s worries about dairy and digestive wellness presents a wealth of opportunities for dairy.


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