Market Snapshot: Dairy

Retail-ready and flexible packaging demand is growing, and pouches and bags are expected to grow in milk packaging use.


According to “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing,” a report by PMMI Business Intelligence, dairy holds a 14.9% share of the nine food categories, and though the number of establishments decreased to 1,258 between 2014 to 2017 (a CAGR of -0.6%), the number of employees increased to 124,075 in the same period, at a CAGR of 2.8%.

Dairy product packaging trends include more PET for recyclability for dairy creamers, more shelf-stable, biodegradable and transparent packaging, and the growth of retail-ready packaging, as well as flexible packaging. Both dairy-free and cheese snacks grew in the past year.

Of dairy trends, one Senior Production Specialist at a dairy company said, “Cheeses are growing but we’re consolidating SKUs to avoid capacity issues.”

Dairy Product Processing Trends

·     The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts dairy product prices to increase 3% to 4% in 2019.

·      More pouches and bags for milk for commercial and retail. Corporate engineering manager says, “Milk tastes better in bags.”

·      Growth in new flavors, both dairy and nondairy.

·      Dairy is trending toward more natural, organic, and artisanal products.

·      Dairy producers have been able to pass on raw milk costs to consumers.

Consumer habits are driving change in this market as fluid milk production decreased 2.3% from 2017 to 2018. The popularity of yogurt has increased, particularly plant-based yogurt, which grew 39% from 2017-2018. Plant-based cheese popularity has also increased, growing 19% from 2017-2018.

The demand for refrigerated almond milk increased while refrigerated soy milk and kefir both decreased demand. Butter as a natural fat is experiencing a resurgence as well. And another healthy dairy trend is the addition of more protein to products in the form of whey powder.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing”

Download the FREE Executive Summary below, or PMMI Members can download the entire report here.

Make plans to visit PACK EXPO International in Chicago, November 8-11, to see on-trend food processing and packaging machinery and materials.


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