In an increasingly crowded food and beverage space where plant-based products are drawing a lot of attention, the dairy world is innovating to meet consumers’ evolving wants and needs.
The Good in Dairy
Healthy and natural options are at the top of consumers’ lists, and dairy products—including milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese—are laden with naturally occurring nutrients, giving them a step up on plant-based versions, most of which are fortified. Calcium is of course the big player: 1 cup of cow’s milk contains 30 percent of your daily needs.
1 Cup of Milk Provides:
- 30% calcium
- 26% riboflavin
- 22% phosphorus
- 18% Vitamin B12
- 24% Vitamin D
- 16% Protein (7.9 grams)
Follow Your Gut
With the continued buzz around probiotics and gut health, fermented products like kefir and yogurt—which are rich in tummy-supporting probiotics for digestive health—are becoming more available in new flavors and international styles. A great example is skyr, a fermented, dairy-based, yogurt-like product with a thick and creamy texture, hailing from Iceland; check out offerings from Icelandic Provisions.
And yogurt and kefir don’t come just from cows. Redwood Hill Farm produces its fermented offerings from goat’s milk. It’s worth noting that people who can’t tolerate dairy from cows may be able to more easily digest milk from goats. Why? Fat molecules in goat’s milk are smaller and easier to digest.
A Love of Cheese
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. consumers have a love affair with cheese—we each consume about 34 pounds a year! But it doesn’t have to come only in chunks or slices. Crunchy, innovative, all-natural snacks like Parm Crisps and Moon Cheese are made from 100 percent cheese—nothing else.
Good to Animals
Studies show that dairy from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals is quite nutritious, with more fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than that from cows fed more-conventional feed. Notable brands include Kerrygold, known for its creamy Irish butter and now launching sliced and shredded cheese; Organic Valley USDA Certified Organic milks, cheeses, yogurts and sour cream; and Horizon, which also offers USDA Certified Organic milk, cheeses, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter and eggs.
Did you know?
Humans are the only species that consumes milk in adulthood and milk from other animals.