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What's trending in India’s flavoured milk segment
Friday, 18 January, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Sakshi Deepchandani
Given the hectic schedules and pressures of modern life, Indian consumers today are time-pressed. In fact, according to Mintel's research, for almost 2 out of 5 Indians, better time management is one of the top goals they want to achieve over the next three years. Busy lifestyles have resulted in many Indians skipping breakfast and other essential meals. Consumers are now looking out for convenient food and drink options that keep them full and nourished while on the move.

Milk is a staple food in India, considered a source of essential nutrition - especially among vegetarians, and therefore flavoured milk finds favour among Indian consumers. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), in 2017, about 15% of all new products launched in the Indian dairy drink segment was flavoured milk. In comparison, the number was just around 7% in 2012.

Here, we take a look at three key trends that are seen in the flavoured milk segment in India.

Demand for natural flavours
Popular fruit flavours that have resonated well with consumers in the juice category seem to work well in the flavoured milk category. According to Mintel GNPD, mango is the most popular fruit flavour in the flavoured milk segment, followed by strawberry.

In addition to fruit-based flavours, organic milk with flavours is another area where a lot of innovations are taking place. An increasing number of consumers have started opting for organic milk, where the cows are fed natural fodder. This process, according to the organic milk companies, is said to be of premium quality and costs slightly more than regular variants. A few products claim to use organic fruits in the formulation as well.

Highlighting health claims and benefits
With access to information through various channels like television and the Internet, consumers are now aware of health hazards related to lifestyle changes. They are now vowing to adopt healthier lifestyles and are actively seeking added benefits in all that they eat or drink. As health becomes an increasingly common talking point for consumers concerning purchase motivation, several innovations in the flavoured milk category have focussed on health benefits.

To differentiate in the market, many of the big dairy companies have started focussing more on value-added milk that provides specific health benefits. Benefits such as the development of bones and brain especially for children are being highlighted.

Exploring exotic flavours
Blending of flavours with health benefits can be very appealing to some consumers, such as the use of nuts. Traditional tastes which were consumed and made at home are also being made available in the flavoured milk category.

Concerning innovation, nuts or dry fruits are added to give flavoured milk an added touch of sophistication. As dry fruits and nuts are considered to be premium in India, this makes flavoured milk an ideal beverage for various occasions such as festivals, parties or get-togethers.

(The author is trend and innovation consultant Mintel India)
 
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