Research from Innova Market Insights reportedly shows consumers want their dairy purchases to satisfy multiple concerns and cravings. Attitudes and opinions can vary widely from one category to the other, the company says. Milk and yogurt purchasing is driven largely by everyday nutrition needs, for example, while taste is most important for cheese.
For milk shoppers, traceability and sustainable farming methods are also increasingly important, research shows, while almost half of yogurt consumers prefer products to have some type of extra health benefit. For cheese, messaging related to nature and tradition is more likely to prompt purchases.
The popularity of dairy also varies significantly in different regions. For example, there is a marked divide between Europe and Asia, where there is much less of a tradition of consumption.
“This is reflected in purchasing,” said Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights. “For example, nine out of ten Russians see cheese as a typical grocery purchase, in contrast to just one in ten in China.”
Research also shows Asians are far more likely than Western consumers to be increasing their dairy intakes, at 42% in China and Vietnam compared to 13-14% in France and Germany. While uptake remains lower in Asia then, there is scope for wider interest and more mainstream dairy purchasing in the future.
Dairy foodstuffs also see varying popularity according to time of day. Breakfast is particularly important for milk and yogurt consumption, but cheese use is more evenly spread across main meals.
Once more, there are regional trends. Latin Americans over-index on the use of dairy products at the breakfast table, while Scandinavians more commonly have yogurt at breakfast time. In France and Turkey, yogurt is more likely to be eaten at lunch or dinner.
The pandemic has intensified consumer interest in naturalness and traceability, Innova suggests, and these factors will be important for dairy innovators going forward. In addition, growing competition from plant-based alternatives increases pressure on the dairy industry.