What you need to know

The dichotomy and depth of combined dairy categories have impacted consumer interest in flavor exploration in the dairy space, especially compared to other categories. Half of consumers are steadfast in sticking to flavors they are familiar with, while the remainder are open to innovation in a variety of forms. This Report explores experience and interest in flavor and ingredients on all sides of the dairy (and non-dairy) industry – the sweet and the savory, the food or drink enhancer and the standalone products and those that lean into both territories.

Key issues covered in this report

The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the dairy market

Flavor innovation opportunities

Attitudes about dairy and non-dairy flavors

Current and future flavor trends within dairy and dairy alternatives


This Report covers the dairy industry as well as competitive non-dairy alternatives. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has included the following types of dairy/non-dairy products:

  • Butter

  • Cream and creamers

  • Natural cheese

  • Processed cheese

  • Curd and quark

  • White and flavored Milk

  • Plant-based drinks

  • Drinking and spoonable yogurt

  • Plant-based yogurt

This Report does not include ice cream or frozen novelties. For data on ice cream of frozen novelties, please see Trending Flavors and Ingredients with Desserts and Confections – US, June 2020

COVID-19: Market context

This update was prepared on August 17, 2020.

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

 Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and non-essential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. At the time of writing, all 50 states have relaxed restrictions, allowing businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. However, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans.

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