From April 24-26th the American Dairy Products Institute/ American Butter Institute Annual Conference was held in Chicago. The conference served as an outlet for professionals working on all sides of the dairy industry to network, exhibit, and help one another work through shared issues in the world of dairy. Emily Balsamo, Euromonitor Food and Nutrition Analyst spoke on Global Consumer Trends on Tuesday, April 26th.
Other presentations ranged from legal advice with respect to Dodd-Frank, to innovations in supply chain logistics, ingredient quality assessment, FDA labeling legislation, animal welfare, and issues relating to specific manufacturing processes. Exhibitors ranged from machinery producers, to multinational food companies, to dairy farmers themselves.
The past year has been a dynamic time for the American dairy industry, and that dynamism was reflected in the issues addressed by conference's speakers and exhibitors. The American dairy industry saw the price of a gallon of milk dropping by a wide margin, a change which has been very much felt by producers. Another change in the milk landscape is the rising popularity of whole milk over skim or semi-skimmed. This trend of fat over skim extends beyond milk into cheese and yoghurt; naturally occurring and unprocessed fat is trending among consumers. Producers have taken notice, and are taking action.
Another trend which was reflected in the conference proceedings was protein. Protein is trending across dairy product categories from yoghurt to cheese to milk drinks. Producers are taking note and working on new ways to formulate their products to increase protein. Portability is another trend, which in many instances goes hand in hand with protein, such as in the instance of high-protein portable, snackable products, several of which were launched by major brands in 2015 and 2016.
We would also like to thank the American Dairy Products Institute and the American Butter Institute for the opportunity to attend and present.