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Chr. Hansen’s new plant based yoghurt culture makes a milk-free alternative to yoghurt possible

The market for fermented dairy alternatives has shown strong growth in recent years albeit from a small base. Today the segment constitutes less than 1% of the fermented foods market but it has seen the highest growth rates within the category in 2015 and 2016 (source: Euromonitor).
In August, Chr. Hansen commissioned a consumer survey to better understand usage of and attitudes toward dairy alternative products. The survey uncovered that

  • Dairy alternatives are seen as a supplement to the existing dairy-based products enabling more choice and dietary options
  • The modern consumer values variation and more than half of the consumers asked have purchased a dairy alternative food or beverage
  • among those, 77% want to see more options in the grocery store, indicating that dairy alternative products have a lot of room for growth

Now Chr. Hansen is launching a product range that is well-suited to tap into the opportunities this new market trend is offering: Two new YoFlex® (yogurt) cultures and two new nu-trish® (probiotic) cultures.
Healthy plant based alternatives with qualities of ‘real’ yogurt.

“As the market leader for starter cultures, we intensively study the new market needs and track up-and-coming trends that change the food and beverage industry. Now we are ready to launch a series of cultures for dairy alternatives that enable the producer to make healthy plant based products with the qualities we traditionally ascribe to dairy yogurt,” says Lasse Vigel Joergensen, Global Marketing Manager – Fresh Dairy.

The relationship between the gut and one’s health and general well-being is increasingly being recognized. The gut, sometimes referred to as the second brain, is the single most important organ in keeping us healthy and delivers 70% of our immunity.

Taste is king
While health is a key consumer purchase driver, the dairy alternatives products still has to taste good. Chr. Hansen is renowned for its ability to develop cultures that can bring out the best in food and ensure the taste that is required by selective consumers.
Two delicious dairy alternatives concepts have been developed to present the new culture portfolio to customers: SoyFresh, which leverages on all the good qualities from yogurt, without stabilizers, and CoCoFresh, a trendy indulgence product based on coconut milk with a high fat content.

Superior acidification speed
Another important property of the new range is the speed at which the cultures can acidify the plant-derived base. “We have used our expertise in culture design and fermentation process and applied it to non-dairy bases. Unlike in milk where we deal with dairy protein and fat, composition and choice of ingredients for plant bases are endless. The new culture range brings in a pleasant taste and flavor and in some cases, the opportunity to increase acidification speed,” says Mirjana Curic-Bawden, Principal Scientist. North American Dairy Alternative Market Insights (August 2017)
This market study provides the latest consumer research on usage and attitudes toward dairy alternative yogurt-like products.

Key insights from the report

  • Nutrition and health are universal purchase motivators for dairy alternative products
  • Labeling preferences differ by generation, but “probiotic” ranks highest across consumer bases
  • Younger generations lead the trend toward dairy alternative products, but dairy alternative yogurt-like products have wide appeal across generations.

Source: Chr. Hansen