7 Dairy Innovations We’re Watching

U.S. sales of yogurt and yogurt drinks peaked at nearly $9 billion in 2015. In 2019, they’re expected to hit $8.2 billion, down 3.6% from the previous year, according to research from Chicago-based Mintel International. “Consumers are just not eating as much yogurt as they once did,” said Caleb Bryant, associate director of food and drink reports for Mintel.

Meanwhile, in the fluid-milk category, a potential negative harbinger occurred Nov. 12 when Dean Foods announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Dallas-based milk processor said it plans to use Chapter 11 proceedings to keep running the business and address debt and unfunded debt obligations as it seeks to sell the company.

That hasn’t stopped dairy product manufacturers from churning out new product launches and extensions.

Click through for a look at seven dairy-oriented releases that landed at retail recently.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Hiland Dairy Foods

Hiland Dairy Foods has introduced Hiland Dairy Probiotic Smoothie, a fruit and probiotic drink available in seven flavors. The drinks offer live and active cultures, 6 grams of protein, 14% of daily fiber and as much calcium as a glass of milk. Packaged in sleek 7-ounce bottles, the drinkable yogurt comes in traditional flavors Strawberry-Banana, Peach, Pina Colada, Strawberry and Mango, and two contemporary flavors in Guanabana and Pecan Cereal. Hiland Dairy Probiotic Smoothie is available for an SRP of 99 cents.

Photograph courtesy of Hiland Dairy Foods

2. Good Culture LLC

In November, Good Culture LLC launched Wellness Probiotic Gut Shots, a new category for the supplier. The USDA organic shots combine probiotics in cultured kefir with functional ingredients such as turmeric, matcha, chaga and collagen. Rich in probiotics and protein, kefir is a unique drinkable cultured-dairy product that tastes like a tart yogurt. The shots are available in four varieties: Pineapple + Tumeric, Vanilla + Collagen, Chai + Matcha and Chocolate + Caga.

Photograph courtesy of Good Culture

3. Chobani

Chobani, which said in a recent report that it remains bullish on the yogurt category, is nonetheless looking to build out its portfolio. One nondairy example is Chobani Oat, the manufacturer’s first oat-based yogurt, available in four flavors: Plain, Vanilla, Chocolate and Plain Extra Creamy. The company is also offering Chobani Coffee Creamer, made from farm-fresh cream that comes naturally from its yogurt-making process, it said. Real milk and real cane sugar round out a list of five or fewer all-natural ingredients.

Photograph courtesy of Chobani

4. HP Hood LLC

HP Hood LLC’s Simply Smart Fat Free Milk uses an innovative technique called ultra-filtration to remove some of the water that makes low-fat milk look and taste “watery,” the company said. The result is flavor-filled milk, rich in nutrition and taste, the company said. Simply Smart Fat Free Milk provides 25% more protein and 20% more calcium than whole milk, is low in cholesterol and is a good source of vitamin D, it said.

Photograph courtesy of HP Hood LLC

5. Borden Dairy Co.

Available in chocolate and strawberry flavors, Borden Kid Builder from the Borden Dairy Co. is an option for parents seeking an extra nutritional boost for their children, the company said. The 2% no-sugar-added milk contains 13 grams of protein and 490 milligrams of calcium per 240-mL serving. The varieties have an SRP of $4.29 per 52-ounce multiserve bottle and $1.59 per 12-ounce single-serve bottle.

Photograph courtesy of Borden Dairy Co.

6. Nestle USA

Nesquik Protein Plus from Nestle USA is flavored milk packed with 13 grams of protein per 8-ounce serving. The variety is made with 28% less sugar than the leading protein-enhanced flavored milk, according to the company. It contains no artificial sweeteners. Similar to all Nesquik ready-to-drink (RTD) products, it’s made with real milk. The variety comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors in 14-ounce RTD sizes.

Photograph courtesy of Nestle USA

7. General Mills

General Mills’ Yoplait USA Inc. division has launched high-protein yogurt YQ by Yoplait. Made with ultra-filtered milk, YQ is packed with protein—15 grams per 5.3-ounce cup—and less sugar than traditional yogurt, the company said.

Photograph courtesy of General Mills