The dairy industry outwardly looks to be characterised by tradition and continuity, but in fact is one of the most fast changing and competitive grocery categories. Be it cheese, white milk, flavoured milk, desserts, yogurts, or fast growing areas like quark, skyr, or functional ice cream.
We have been working in the Free From category almost since its modern inception in the early 2000s. It’s a fast changing, growing, and international space where brands are able to bring both volume and international scale to what were once niche propositions.
Historically, the organic category has suffered from cyclicality, booming when the economy was good and falling back in harder times. However, the drives of organic are now deeper rooted and numerous. Colloquial version of as a result, this broader based movement is developing quickly with more and more value added products coming to the market.
As a volume opportunity, selling to other manufacturers can be hugely attractive. However, due to a lack of accurately recorded data, it is notoriously difficult to gather information, especially when looking at specific categories. Companies understandably keep usage information, financials, and supplier information carefully under wraps.
The drinks market is subject to rapidly changing consumer tastes, growing concern about environmental sustainability, and innovation in product format and flavours. Add into that the constant battle between brands and own labels, and raw material volatility, it’s clear that this is a rewarding but dynamic and challenging space.
The growth of Veganism caught many brands napping, confusing its drive with its near neighbour, vegetarianism. However, Veganism is able to tap into health, ethical, and religious drives to leverage its appeal and volume growth.
Foodservice can be a difficult channel to understand and unlock beyond the obvious areas, but the rewards are there for those that persevere. It’s a sector with incomplete data and information and therefore one where experience, intuition, and access to a network of practitioners plays a key role.