High hopes for lactose-free dairy drinks

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The lactose-free flavoured milk category is set to grow, according to data and analytics company GlobalData, which found that 24 per cent of surveyed Australians aged 25-34 years think products with ‘lactose-free’ claims are healthier, while 17 per cent affirmed they were intolerant to lactose.

The Australian lactose-free flavoured-milk category accounted for 4.7 per cent share of H&W flavoured milk in 2016, and is set to be worth US$2.1 million ($2.8 million) by 2021 – a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent for the period 2016-2021, according to the latest GlobalData consumer survey.

Dairy products are emerging as the breakfast of choice for time-pressed Australian consumers, with 54 per cent of respondents claiming to consume a dairy product at breakfast time.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 4.5 per cent of the country’s population is lactose-intolerant, which, combined with the trend for ‘better-for-you’ products, is leading to more NPD focused on eliminating certain food/ingredient groups from the diet.

‘‘Personalised products designed to deliver specific consumer benefits have emerged as a major trend in the food and drinks industry in recent years,” GlobalData Consumer Markets Analyst Meenakshi Haran said.

‘‘There are certainly plenty of opportunities for dairy manufacturers to capitalise on this growing demand for healthier, unique taste and flavour experiences.’’

While there is growing demand for better-for-you food and drinks, consumers are unwilling to compromise on taste, but are interested in trying new flavours, with 52 per cent of respondents claiming to try new varieties of milk “often or sometimes”.

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