New technologies in extending shelf life together with increased consumer awareness of the health benefits of dairy drinks, are driving the market in flavoured dairy beverages, a new report this week stresses. The report, published by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, estimates that the flavoured dairy beverages category, which includes shelf-stable flavoured milks and milkshakes, coffee-milks, dairy-based shelf-stable drinks, cultured dairy beverages, smoothies, and milk flavourings, will have annual sales of $2 billion (2.25 billion euros) in 2001, and will enjoy dramatically increased sales of $3 billion (3.38 billion euros) by 2006.
Fluid milk consumption rapidly declined throughout the 1980s and 1990s due to the lack of portable milk options available to the large number of people eating meals-on-the-go.
The dairy industry has moved to deal with this situation by creating single-serve bottles and enabling increased distribution through the development of products with an extended shelf life.
According to the study, "The U.S. Market for Flavored Dairy Beverages", the market is also enjoying a new audience. ``For many years flavoured milk was classified as a kid's product,'' said Meg Hargreaves, VP of Research Publishing for MarketResearch.com. ``The introduction of single-serve packaging and sophisticated flavours, along with the fact that adults are looking for ways to increase their calcium intake, has altered that perception.''