This post is sponsored by Dean Foods.
Consumer interest in wholesome, high-protein foods is setting the stage for the return of cottage cheese. With innovative new products that introduce additional flavors and packaging suited to consuming on-the-go, the classic dairy staple offers an alternative for shoppers who usually stock up on yogurt.
The cottage cheese market was double that of yogurt about 40 years ago, according to Nielsen, but yogurt has since become the go-to dairy snack for many US consumers. In an effort to help cottage cheese gain back some market share, Dean Foods has tapped into the portability and flavor range that draws many shoppers to the yogurt aisle with its DairyPure Mix-ins line of cottage cheese. Single-serving containers are convenient for eating at or away from home, and a range of four fruit and nut toppings delivers on the variety shoppers want.
“The inspiration behind the DairyPure Mix-ins line was the perception of cottage cheese as ‘grandma’s’ food and the lack of emphasis on its nutritional benefits -- it was the perfect white space to take a classic snack and add a twist to make it exciting again!” said Director of Innovation for Dean Foods Sindhura Polasanapalli. “Key market trends showed us that snacks are replacing meals and the importance of convenience, high protein and real ingredients in consumers’ food, all of which sparked the idea for Mix-ins.”
Consumers consider the high protein content of cottage cheese to be one of its top attributes, according to research from Seurat Group and NPD Group. Consumers also like the fact that it keeps them full and is low and both fat and sugar. Each 5.3 oz. cup of DairyPure Mix-ins contains more than 15 grams of protein -- twice the amount in an equal serving of regular yogurt. The blueberry, peach & pecan, pineapple and strawberry & almond Mix-ins are made with real fruit and nuts and no GMO ingredients.
Polasanapalli said Dean Foods chose the four introductory flavors based on culinary exploration, feedback and testing with consumers.
“Our inspiration comes from within and outside the company, as we strongly believe good ideas can come from anywhere,” she said.
Retailers can increase sales of cottage cheese by optimizing the variety and number of cottage cheese brands on store shelves and expanding variety for on-trend items with consumer appeal, such as snacking/convenience packs, according to an Executive Insights report from Dean Foods. Tracking consumer trends and habits plays a key role in product innovation at the food and beverage company, which has been around since 1925.
“Staying relevant with our consumers drives innovation at Dean Foods,” said Polasanapalli. “There are demographic, cultural and culinary shifts that are changing consumption and purchase behaviors, and we need to innovate and deliver the right solutions to meet those ever-changing needs.”
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