Dairy products for toddlers offer untapped potential

Opportunity: the global toddler food and beverage market was worth $34bn in 2015

Products formulated for toddlers with nutrition-rich dairy ingredients represent a major untapped opportunity for food and drink manufacturers, a supplier has claimed.

Despite dairy ingredients such as whey already established in the tightly regulated infant formula sector, they remained underused in products aimed at children aged one-to-three years – a crucial period in every child’s development, Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI) suggested.

According to Euromonitor, the global toddler food and beverage market was worth $34bn in 2015, making it significantly bigger than the $24.7bn infant formula market.

Annual growth rate

Sales of toddler products are forecast to post a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% between now and 2018.

“The toddler years are a crucial period, where it’s important to ensure children get the right nutrients and develop healthy eating habits,” said Anne Staudt Kvistgaard, senior manager for pediatric at AFI.

“A child’s diet during the sensitive toddler years is a key determinant of their health, both in the short and long-term.

“Even though they are leaving behind their milk-based diet, proteins and minerals from milk should continue to form the bedrock of their diet to ensure they get a healthy start in life.”

Toddler-specific products

Through snack bars, squeezable pouches, yogurts, fruit drinks, milky drinks and toddler formulas, Staudt Kvistgaard said dairy ingredients were perfect for toddler-specific products.

“For food and beverage companies, this offers an excellent opportunity to create products that are perfectly balanced for a toddler’s specific needs,” she added.

Through its Goodness of Dairy campaign, AFI is highlighting how dairy ingredients were key to tapping into growing consumer demand for natural and healthy food.

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