Kefir NPD Triumphs on Fermented Foods Renaissance

ce7e0437-93af-4fc0-a614-7fa99483a250articleimage.jpg

08 Mar 2017 --- Kefir appears to be bucking the trend that has seen launch activity in drinking yogurts and fermented beverages remain relatively static in recent years. While kefir launch numbers are still limited globally, Innova Market Insights data indicate that they grew more than three-fold between 2011 and 2016. This is despite launches in the overall drinking yogurt/fermented beverages sub-category rising by a much more modest +60%.

“As interest in fermented dairy products spread in the west alongside the arrival of the so-called functional foods market in the 1990s,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Kefir started to move out of its home in the Caucasus via limited availability in specialist health food stores in western markets to a more value-added, mainstream positioning, particularly in the US,” she adds.

“There is a real renaissance taking place in traditional and age-old processes appealing to modern consumers, and particularly millennials. Fermented foods is one area benefiting from this trend,” Lu Ann Williams tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “Fermentation is natural and will be perceived by some consumers more positively than modern food processes. Food & beverage launches that claim to use a fermentation process, have grown at a CAGR of 29% from 2011 to 2015.” The impact of this fermented trend is being far felt. In fact, even in chocolate, premium brands are marketing a more gentle fermentation process or double fermentation to achieve subtle flavor notes.
 
But the dairy category is one area where fermented foods are particularly thriving. Williams notes a +17% CAGR in the percentage of category product launches with a “fermented” claim on pack globally from 2011-2015. Kefir is flourishing amid this NPD activity, with +24% growth reported among kefir launches featuring the word “fermented” over this period.

The US pioneered the kefir market in the west and brought value-added options in resealable plastic bottles to the mainstream market. This allowed for more direct competition with other dairy and non-dairy beverages. It accounted for over one-third of global kefir launches in 2016 and beverages featuring kefir accounted for 40% of US drinking yogurt/fermented beverages introductions overall, compared with just over 8% globally. Europe accounted for the bulk of the remainder, led by more traditional markets in Eastern Europe, although launches in Western Europe have grown strongly, but from a very small base. 

Kefir is strongly promoted on its healthy properties, particularly with rising interest in fermented foods and beverages overall. All US and nearly 94% of global launches used some kind of health positioning in 2016. There was initial emphasis on probiotics, particularly focusing on digestive health benefits. Even though regulatory issues have made this type of claim more difficult in some parts of the world, digestive health claims were still used for nearly two-thirds of global launches in 2016. 

Nearly half of kefir launches use low fat claims and the sector has also not been slow to exploit rising concerns over sugar intake in the diet. The number of global launches positioned on low sugar/no-added-sugar and sugar free positionings double in 2016 to feature in 20% of the total. Organic and lactose free variants are also increasingly common, among kefir launches.

by Elizabeth Kenward

Innova Market Insights

Collapse

The Innova Database is the product of choice for the whole product development team. See what food manufacturers are doing around the world in a way you never thought possible.

Track trends, competitors, ingredients and flavors. It contains excellent product pictures, search possibilities and analysis. Get the world of new products on your desk, set e-alerts, examine category activity, find new ideas, be inspired.

In today's fast moving environment this is a resource you cannot afford to be without.

Related Articles

Business News

Hershey Cutting Calories in Classic Chocolate Bars

24 Apr 2017 --- US Chocolate giant Hershey has pledged that all of its standard and king-size confectionary range will come complete with easy-to-read front-of-pack labels which show the amount of calories by the end of next year. And half of all Hershey standard and king-size confections will be 200 calories or less by 2022, as part of the company’s “smart snacking promise”.

Business News

Special Report: An Industry Update on Sugar Taxes

24 Apr 2017 --- The soft drinks industry at large has been facing the sugar tax challenge for several years now against a backdrop of consumer demand for reduced-sugar products and increasing calls for governments to legislate on the issue. Reformulating a much-loved product by removing or replacing the sugar, while maintaining the familiar taste is a challenge for most companies. But that has not stopped the majority of key players from adding a wealth of no- or low-sugar lines to their portfolios.

Business News

Bunge Acquires Argentine Edible Oil Company

24 Apr 2017 --- Bunge Southern Cone and Aceitera Martínez S.A. have entered into an agreement to transfer all of Aceitera Martínez’s assets to Bunge. A family-run business for more than 60 years, Aceitera Martínez specializes in the production and packaging of edible oils, including sunflower and soybean oil. 

Food Ingredients News

NHS and Leading Suppliers Vow to Reduce Sales of Sugary Drinks

24 Apr 2017 --- The UK National Health Service (NHS) has announced it is “stepping up the battle against obesity, diabetes and tooth decay” by declaring that sugary drinks will be banned in hospital shops from next year unless suppliers voluntarily take decisive action to cut their sales over the next 12 months. 

Food Research

Sunflower Seeds May Pose Increased Health Risk in Many Low-Income Countries

24 Apr 2017 --- Michigan State University researchers have shown that sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with a toxin produced by molds and pose an increased health risk in many low-income countries worldwide. 

More Articles