Where have all our dairy clients gone?

During the early years of HMT, we were literally swimming in functional dairy projects. Probiotic milk and yogurts, lactose-free or protein-rich milk were on the agenda but the game has definitely changed for the dairy industry as milk is no longer the health icon it used to be.  

Our client portfolio has been plant-based for a number of years now so this week we started a new research project with HMT Consumer Lab and our partners Masters of Applied Cultural Analysis at Lund University with the title What motivates consumers to pick up and increase the use of new sustainable food sources?’.

But where is milk and meat in all of this?
It’s true that innovation and investors are drawn to the quickly growing field of alternatives but the majority of us are still happily consuming dairy and eating meat. So what is the challenge for those industries?

From volume to value is a cultural challenge
The challenge is that both are volume-driven industries. Most consumers don’t mind eating meat or drinking milk. What they mind is the industrial methods and the impact of those industries on our planet. It means that small is beautiful and big is bad. And this is where the meat and dairy industries can learn from the non-dairy brands: transparency and good storytelling helps consumers to bond with small producers whose values they share. And this, of course, drives premium. 

What’s the story to tell for dairy success in 2020?
In our latest trend report, we analyse the storytelling of both plant-based milks (Oatly) and cows milk (Shatto) and it becomes clear that while Oatly bonds with the ethical consumer Shatto uses its heritage to create a compelling brand story.

It’s time to reinvent the category!
So the problem is not dairy it’s dairies who have become so big that they have lost touch with consumers. The time has come for a new generation of dairy and meat producers who have a story tell – Welcome!

Peter Wennström

Interested in how HMT could help you bring better targeted innovations faster to market?

Please contact wendela@thehmt.com.