It is easy to see that the dairy industry represents a large segment of the American food industry. Consumers purchase dairy products because they contain essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D and protein. Be it milk, cheese, yogurt or ice cream, almost every American consumes dairy products on some sort of regular basis.
In their May 2008 report “Functional Foods” Market Research and Consumer Intelligence Report, the Mintel International Group, Ltd., states that consumer interest in functional or fortified foods has gone up from 2002 to 2007 by 63 percent with dairy foods constituting 75 percent of the total functional foods sales. Dairy food manufacturers seeking to position their dairy products in the market with a higher nutritive value and greater consumer appeal should consider incorporating functional ingredients into their product or product line.
Dairy products that are fortified with functional ingredients such as probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, additional calcium and Vitamin D are receiving more consumer attention these days. Such products not only augment nutrition but, depending on the functional ingredient added, also play a role in weight management, digestive health, immunity and healthy bone development. Popular functional ingredients include:
“Probiotics” means “for life”. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Research shows probiotics supports digestive health, but may have wider benefits according to the specific strain of probiotics used. Yogurt has been a popular product for fortification with probiotics.
From 2006 to 2007, probiotics claims on food and beverage products increased by more than 140 percent, according to AC Nielsen (a global marketing research firm) with yogurt being the most popular product for delivery.
Omega 3 fatty acids. Dietary increase of Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is strongly supported by research. Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to provide numerous health benefits including the support of heart health, digestive health, brain health and joint health. These “good” fats are popularly added to milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Consumer awareness of the health benefits of EPA and DHA is wide and the fortification of dairy products with omega 3 fatty acids is predicted to be a hot-seller.
Oligosaccharides are soluble and semi-soluble fiber often used as prebiotics, an important component of digestive healthcare. Synbiotics, the combination of probiotics with prebiotics, help to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and certain B vitamins. The SCFA protect colon tissue and help to regulate healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They also support normal blood sugar levels and certain immune functions. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) derived from fruits and vegetables help promote the absorption of calcium.
Whey protein derived from milk enhances the protein value of a dairy product. Studies show whey protein helps to improve Industrial Production Investopedia the solubility of minerals and their absorption in the digestive tract. It also helps to promote immune functions.
Protein is a nutrient that dominates the athletic and bodybuilding industries. For a number of years, athletes and health enthusiasts have been adopting a protein-rich diet to build more muscle mass and promote weight loss. Research shows that protein is an appetite suppressant, and based on a survey conducted by the NPD Group, Inc., a leading global provider of consumer and retail market research information, people want more protein in their diet. High-protein diets help promote satiety and loss of fat.
The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2009 Food and Health Survey reported that consumers are driven to make healthy food choices based on taste, price, and nutritive value. Trends also indicate that consumers are looking for products that make condition-specific health claims. Baby boomers and health enthusiasts are the biggest takers. Here’s an interesting bit of news: Yogurt and yogurt drink brands that targeted specific health conditions grew by 169 percent from 2005 to 2008. This was according to a 2008 Mintel report entitled “Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks-US,” November 2008.
Transitioning a dairy product from a healthy food to an even healthier functional food, may prove to be the easiest way to increase your company’s bottom line profits and offer consumers more health value for their money. Contact a quality Easy Industries To Analyze private label supplement manufacturer about formulating your dairy products with functional ingredients. Simply choose from a wide variety of private label stock to get your production line going on the fast-track to success!

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