Holy cow, what’s happening to dairy?
The Grocer’s annual Dairymen report has just launched and it makes for some interesting reading. In a survey of over 1,000 Brits, almost a quarter are thinking of cutting back on their dairy consumption. 5% have already switched to a dairy-free diet, with 8% considering it. The figures are even greater amongst younger people, with a third of 16-34-year olds claiming they are planning to cut back on milk-based products. The most important reasons for people cutting back on dairy are health (60%), concerns about animal welfare (32%) and environmental impact concerns (25%). Especially amongst younger people, animal and environmental factors are just as motivating.
All this makes sobering reading for the dairy industry. The spend on dairy alternatives have doubled in the last 5 years, with the dairy-free market’s share of the total dairy market rising from 1.7% to 3.4%. Lucia Julian, Head of CPG and Retail Research at Harris Interactive argues that it seems consumers don’t have a clear grasp of the nutritional content of dairy-free alternatives. They are “easily persuaded by health messages communicated by various products and brands – it suggests simple food labelling isn’t being read for these products and that the overarching marketing messages are the main drivers of consumer perceptions.”
It seems in order to fight-back against the rise of the dairy-free alternatives, brands need to take a leaf out of their book and focus on health benefits, as well as better communicating the natural origins of dairy and the work they do to support farmers. Convincing shoppers will be key to this – dairy brands need to make sure that they win at the real moment of truth, when the shopper actually puts your product in their basket (either virtually or in a shop). Thinking shelf-back and learning to spot great shopper creative will help dairy brands to supercharge their shopper marketing and make sure they beat the dairy-free alternative rising stars.
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