A new report examining how dairy companies are successfully targeting healthy products to children underlines the growing importance of this particular food category.
The report, authored by Julian Mellentin, director of the Centre for Food & Health Studies, outlines the consumer markets key health concerns and how companies can address them effectively.
It suggests that the kids food market is valued at over $300 billion worldwide. But it reveals that there is still an abundance of opportunities to be explored by food manufacturers aiming healthy dairy products at kids and mothers alike.
"The dairy industrys ambition to innovate with more and more new ingredients seems to be growing increasingly bolder," said Mellentin. "No other food or beverage category has played such an important role in driving the functional food revolution in Europe, South America and Asia."
Mellentin claims that probiotics, omega-3s and calcium are the three areas in which "the most significant success stories are being made."
Danone for example recently said that new 'health products' helped the firm to continue its strong sales growth in the second quarter of 2006. The group said it was encouraged by good performances from 'blockbuster brands', led by probiotic yoghurt Activia, and also various newly launched products.
And health concerns are also continuing to boost spending on diet food and drinks. Low- and no-fat products account for more new product launches than those making any other lesser evil claims, according to Datamonitor.
In 2001, 7.4 per cent of new food products launched worldwide claimed to contain reduced levels of fat, rising to 10.4 per cent in 2005. This trend is beginning to spill over into children's food.
Mellentin's report is entitled Eight Key Case Studies In Kids Nutritional Dairy. The Centre for Food & Health Studies is an international organisation that provides research, analysis and forecasting to the global nutrition business.