Supermarkets’ chilled cabinets are an attractive environment for shoppers. Chilled generally means short life products, implicitly fresh, which are ready to eat, or pretty close to it. The chiller is also where you can find dairy products, from cheese and cheese snacks to flavoured milk drinks and probiotic yogurts.

We’re moving simultaneously to more convenience and eating on the move, enjoying ourselves and staying healthy at the same time. Does soft ice cream count as chilled? We also ponder plant-based dairy alternatives and EasiYo, the world’s No.1 make-at-home yogurt brand. An ambient product with an 18-month shelf-life, EasiYo offers the potential to take yogurt beyond the chilled section and help make single-use pots a thing of the past.

Flavoured milk is a well-established soft drink segment, says Wayne Thompson, Customer Marketing Manager at YAZOO, worth £353m and growing +13.9% year on year.

“The category’s strong performance is in part due to innovation boosting the benefits of milk such as RTD coffee, protein, being a breakfast alternative, and no added sugar or lower sugar variants. It has also been positively impacted by the sugar levy. As dairy drinks with over 75% milk are exempt, this has raised the category’s profile and served as a reminder to consumers and customers of dairy drinks’ valueas a soft drink alternative to carbonated soft drinks. “ YAZOO is the nation’s number one flavour milk drink with 23% market share, with the core Strawberry flavour continuing to be a best-seller across convenience and grocery.

One of the more recent initiatives has been to revamp the no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners milk drink packaging and re-branding to “YAZOO Kids,” making it clearer to parents that it is below 100 calories per bottle – meeting government Change4Life guidelines of a maximum two 100 calorie snacks a day for children. With optimised packaging, this will bring in even more consumers.

While YAZOO might be what FrieslandCampina is best known for in the UK, says Wayne Thompson, the global company also has a host of other exciting products on offer, including Chocomel, the luxury chocolate milk drink, its recent launch and The Netherlands’s best kept secret. With eight cups drunk every second in The Netherlands, the velvety, smooth and creamy drink is perfect for disrupting the UK Impulse market. Now available in single-serving ‘to-go’ 250ml can, it’s perfect for shoppers on the move.

Finally, Friesland Campina’s latest launch is Barista Coffee Co, an on-the-go coffee drink; Barista Coffee Co, guaranteed to put the bounce back into RTD coffee sales.

One in ten households now buy Ready to Drink Coffee, giving retailers a fantastic opportunity to grow their chilled offering. Packaged in a stylish can, and available in two flavours, Caramel Latte and Caffe Latte, Barista Coffee Co, guaranteed to stand-out on shelf and taps into the ever growing on the go market.

The Yorkshire Creamery is making a ‘stand against the bland,’ says David Hartley, Managing Director of parent company Wensleydale Dairy Products in a bid to champion exceptional quality and traditional recipes to make dairy products that ‘taste like they ought to’. Launched by Wensleydale Dairy Products, the parent group of the award-winning Wensleydale Creamery, The Yorkshire Creamery promises to share all the same values of using locally sourced milk, investing in the sustainability of British farming and creating delicious dairy products made with love and care.

Rolling out regionally in major supermarkets The Yorkshire Creamery is launching a selection of cheeses that intend to make every day better, with Yorkshire Butter following in early 2020. All the milk used is specially selected from local Yorkshire farms and the cheese experts at The Yorkshire Creamery then use all their knowledge, expertise and attention to detail to create products that are full of good old Yorkshire strength and character.

The brand is aiming to disrupt a crowded cheese category that has become more concerned with quantity than quality. It plans on doing this through great tasting, award-winning products combined with lots of personality.

The new range includes three cheeses, available in 320g and 200g pack sizes: Extra Mature Yorkshire Cheddar – distinctively strong and rugged and typically aged for 15 months: Yorkshire Red – distinctively nutty and typically aged for 10 months: Double Yorkshire – distinctively smooth and buttery, typically aged for 7 months

The branding, and packaging feature a Yorkshire cow as the star of the show, highlighting the focus on local milk and farming. The launch of the new brand is a key element of Wensleydale Dairy Products’ ambitious growth plans and will also help sustain rural farming in the local community. The business has pledged a £1m investment into The Yorkshire Creamery brand, including in-depth consumer and market research, new product development and marketing.

David Hartley, MD of Wensleydale Dairy Products said; “Just like our much-loved Yorkshire Wensleydale cheeses, The Yorkshire Creamery is a range of good, honest, tasty, authentic products made with character and integrity.

“Ninety-nine per cent of British households buy cheese and over half of total cheese sales are generated by Cheddar. It takes 10 litres of milk to make one kilogram of Cheddar, which is why the quality of the milk used is so important to the flavour.

“We’ve listened to our consumers and know that they want much more than just great tasting products, they want to know farmers and animals have been treated well in the process and that’s what we are doing with The Yorkshire Creamery.”

The products will initially be available from selected Morrisons, Booths, Tesco, Asda and Co-op stores, as well as the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre Cheese Shop in Hawes.

Cheese snacks are another important part of the chilled category. “It’s been an incredibly exciting 12 months in cheese snacks,” says Victoria Southern, Marketing & Category Director at Kerry Foods, best known for Cheestrings, a staple with families for 23 years and a broader range of products across children’s snacks, including. the newly launched Cheeshapes as well as Yollies, a yoghurt-based snack.

“Currently, only 7% of kid’s lunchboxes contain a cheese snack and our ambition is to become the number one brand. Cheese snacking is on the rise with 62% of shoppers buying more cheese snacks than last year and 31% of shoppers are adding cheese snacks to their repertoire for the first time.

“With snacking generally on the up and people choosing healthier alternatives, the challenge for parents is to provide children with a nutritious snack while appealing to their sense of fun. Children are continually looking for ways to make food more entertaining and mealtimes should be an opportunity to unleash their creativity. Cheestrings are made with one glass of milk and real cheese, heated and stretched to make it stringy and playful, tapping into this demand for healthy yet fun snack options appealing to children and parents alike.”

Health, in its many different interpretations, is an important factor to British consumers and continues to influence purchase decisions, says Neil Stewart, Saputo Dairy UK’s Butter & Spreads Marketing Controller. He quotes HIM data revealing 43% of chilled food shoppers, including Butters & Spreads, rate health as 9/10 or 10/10 for importance:

“For some consumers this means choosing less processed or free from artificial ingredient products that are perceived as ‘more natural,’ while for others ‘healthier’ mean sreducing saturated fat intake or choosing ‘free-from’ solutions.”

Neil also points out that veganism and the ongoing momentum of free from, of which dairy free is the biggest segment, has continued to shape the Butters & Spreads market over the latest year:

“Demand for Free From alternatives continues to grow among people who suffer from conditions or intolerances which lead them to avoid certain ingredients in their diet, as well as people who believe Free From alternatives are key to their healthy lifestyle.”

Within Spreads dairy free adoption has now passed 3.3m households – a significant 11.9% of all UK households now buying into the sector and a growth of 450k households in the latest year.

“Demand for dairy free is no longer driven by medical necessity, but has become a lifestyle habit. Evidence suggests only around one in five free from buyers purchase such products because of a medically or self-diagnosed allergy or intolerance.”

Mu?ller made chiller headline news earlier this year when it announced it was targeting a 25% sugar reduction. Müller’s approach to inspiring happy, healthy lives goes far beyond simply removing sugar, says Bergen Merey, Managing Director at Müller Yogurt & Desserts. Utilising their partnership with British Athletics, they are launching campaigns with sporting heroes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, an on-pack promotion to win new sports equipment for schools, and taking their Mu?ller Activity Zones across the country to world-class athletics events.

Müller recently targeted the natural yogurt market, bringing Mu?llerlight into a segment where it has been absent. Müllerlight is also shaking up the luxury segment. Michael Inpong, Chief Marketing Officer at Mu?ller said: “We’re committed to inspiring people to live happier and healthier lives through products motivated by health and inspired by taste. We’ve worked really hard to identify the right opportunity for Mu?llerlight shoppers in this segment. Mu?llerlight Amore luxurious and creamy tasting, as well as fat free and high in protein, the type of innovation our customers and consumers can expect from the number one brand in

Finally Müller has launched Project Darwin, a £100 m programme aiming to transform the UK fresh milk business. Patrick Müller, CEO of Müller Milk & Ingredients explained: “At a typical dairy more than ninety percent of the milk we buy from farms is manufactured into less than eighty different product formats, meeting customer requirements for different milk types, pack sizes and labelling formats. At the same dairy, the remaining 10% of milk would be processed into a further 125 SKU formats, which is staggering. Typically this milk will be packed into smaller or unusual formats which tend to be far less efficient not only in terms of manufacturing, but through the whole supply chain.”

One of the current chiller stars is Greek yogurt. General Mills’ Liberté is the UK’s fastest growing Greek yogurt brand and has seen phenomenal growth over the past 12 months:. “Our consumer feedback shows the taste and texture of our Liberté Natural Greek style yogurt is viewed above others on the market,” says Liliana Jauregui Ramos, Brand Manager of the Yoplait Adults brand at General Mills, “Created with two simple ingredients – milk and yogurt cultures – shoppers can feel confident they’re purchasing a ‘clean’ product, especially in the current climate where health and wellbeing are a key focus.”

“Being high in protein also means we’re great for healthy breakfasts, and as fuel for the day. Liberté Natural Greek style yogurt contains 3.6g of sugar per 100g. Liberté Natural Greek style yogurt contains 3.6g of sugar per 100g, and is free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives.

Liberté’s milk to yogurt ratio is higher than standard yogurts. The sugar is natural and comes from the Lactose sugars in milk, resulting in a healthy addition to breakfast or an afternoon snack. The compote is made with real fruit.

Sugar and sugar reduction from kids’ yogurts has been a significant trend, says Elisa Costa, Brand Manager of Yoplait Kids, also part of General Mills. “In the last two years, we’ve reduced the sugar across our Petits Filous and Frubes products ranges. Unlike some other yogurts and fromage frais Petit Filous is fortified with Vitamin D and one serving – two small pots – contains 50% of a child’s daily Vitamin D intake.

“One particularly strong influence in the Dairy for Kids category is the introduction of free school dinners, leading to fewer children taking packed lunches into schools, a key occasion for yogurt brands. Our new easy-to-open format allows kids to enjoy Frubes without any help from mum and dad.

“Petits Filous also launched its first ever drinking yogurt with a convenient anti-spill cap so kids can enjoy delicious and nutritious yogurt without the mess. Available in Strawberry and Vanilla, it’s the first time an anti-spill cap has been used on children’s yogurt in the UK.

Yoplait has built a partnership with Disney Kitchen over the last two years and recently launched their Disney Princess range exclusively to Asda. Similarly, thePaw Patrol Strawberry flavour was extremely well received by kids and parents.

“The past year has been challenging for Kids Yogurt; health and sugar content have had a big impact, as parents can be confused around whether sugar in children’s yogurts is added or occurs naturally from fruit. Consequently, we’re seeing a switch into the Adult Yogurt category. Parents are buying natural yogurt for their children and adding fruit, without realising this alternative is lacking the fortified calcium and Vitamin D in our products, so we’ve done a great deal to reaffirm the health benefits of our yogurt and fromage frais. We’ve introduced new innovation and refreshed our brand image by strengthening our better-for-you credentials, through our partnership with Public Health England and Change4Life. We’ve also been at the forefront of the category with our reformulation strategy. Over the past two years, we’ve reduced the sugar content of Petits Filous and Frubes by 17% and 15% respectively, while continuing to champion the fundamental goodness of yogurt.

Innovative dressing brand Tigg’s is launching its three-strong range into 400 Tesco prepared salad chillers. The Bold Beetroot & Honey, Subtle Pepper & Mustard, and Smokin’ Tomato & Chilli variants are set to revolutionise the dressings industry when they hit the stores this month, marking the brand’s first nationwide listing and Tesco’s only branded chilled salad dressing.

Tigg’s products are made using the finest, 100% natural, fresh and unpasteurised ingredients. Not only are they low in calories, saturated fats and added sugars, they are also cardioprotective, which means that the main ingredients come from fruits and vegetables instead of cheaper filler ingredients such as water, sunflower oil or vinegar. Free of gluten, dairy, nuts, and wheat, the range can be used as dressing, sauce, marinade, and dip. What’s more, they’re also suitable for vegans.

Tigg’s product range hits the mark for the increasingly experiential consumers who are moving away from traditional sauces and condiments in favour of more exciting and versatile products. Jacob James, who co-founded the brand with his brother Sam said: “Sauces and condiments have always been a staple cupboard essential in UK households, however we’re seeing a fundamental shift in consumer demand. Shoppers can’t get enough of injecting some excitements onto their plates, and they welcome any opportunity to add new flavours to their everyday meals. Our products can liven up everyday meals from crunchy green salads and sandwiches, to fish fillets or sausages”.

The Tigg’s journey began with the founders’ grand-mother, Granny Tigg, whose colourful creations were ever-present on family meals and inspired the brothers to launch the brand.

Premium potted fruit brand Nature’s Finest has put its range of fruit pots into new shelf coloured trays. Georgina Edmonds, Marketing Manager at Nature’s Finest comments; “At Nature’s Finest we are always looking for new ways to make our packaging stand out on shelf and be as easily accesible for consumers as possible. The new tray colours will not only correlate with the fruit pots but will also continue to share the key messaging of No added sugar and in-juice.”

The Nature’s Finest fruit in juice pot range includes mango, tropical fruits, peach, mango in coconut water, pineapple in coconut water, mandarin, pineapple, pomelo grapefruit and pitted prunes and is available in all major Grocery retailers.

Any discussion of dairy and chilled must also take indulgent,soft ice creams into account. Kat Jones is Marketing Manager, Ice Cream & Snacking at General Mills:

“We are seeing the appetite for indulgent ice cream continue to grow as more shoppers are buying more often and spending more when they come into store. As a result, the overall category is worth £1.1bn – growing by £55.2m on 2018. With this growth, we are seeing a trend for premium products as well as lower calorie options, but most brands don’t offer both combined – unlike Häagen-Dazs.

“The introduction of the Gelato Collection at the beginning of this year has meant that we’ve been able to open up the brand to shoppers looking for the perfect permissible treat. This has contributed to Häagen-Dazs’ success over the last 12 months, alongside our Wimbledon sponsorship we achieved an overall penetration of 20.7%.

“Another trend we’re seeing is an always on approach as consumers now buy it all year round, so we need to provide an ice cream for every occasion. Tubs are our bestsellers as they are great for sharing and big night in occasions, while our handheld offerings work well for consumers in the summer. The new minicup format is perfect for permissible indulgence for every occasion, and our flavour portfolio means that we are able to cater to everybody’s taste.“

The growing popularity of coffee has also changed the flavour of ice creams and the Barista Collection, launched earlier this year in minicup and tub formats, is hugely popular.

“We’re also seeing a lot more dairy-free and plant based products being introduced to the category,” says Kat Jones, “which is great as it means the audience for ice cream has grown, and now everyone can try their favourite flavour, including those with allergies or intolerances.

“We don’t have any immediate plans to play in this area. Where it is impacting us though is the increase in consumers wanting transparency from brands and to know exactly what contents they’re putting into products. We are committed to producing quality dairy ice cream. Since launching in 1961, Häagen-Dazs has obsessed over exceptional, real ingredients and ensured its range is free from stabilisers, artificial colourings and flavourings. Produced with a lower air content than many other ice creams, our products have a truly rich and indulgent texture.

“The rise of veganism and consumer interest in plant-based and free-from diets in the UK has been marked in the last three to four years, with more consumers than ever before choosing to buy dairy-free products,” says Katherine Franklin, VP Product and Marketing at Follow Your Heart. “With health front of mind for today’s consumers, the onus is on retailers to offer innovative products which tap into consumer demand for healthier alternatives, an area where free-from ranges such as Follow Your Heart perform well.”

Follow Your Heart‘s dairy-free product portfolio of vegan mayonnaise and cheeses taste and melt just like their traditional counterparts play an important role. Follow Your Heart expanded its core Vegenaise range with a Sriracha variant, and also added Pepper Jack Style Cheese Slices to its dairy-free sliced cheese line up – a creamy cheese flavoured with green and red jalapeno peppers.

The Original Vegenaise, Follow Your Heart’s best-seller is a versatile product with the delicious taste and smooth consistency of its traditional counterpart while being egg-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Follow Your Heart Organic Garlic Aioli Vegenaise is the latest addition to FYH’s Vegenaise range, with its delightfully fragrant aroma and savoury garlic flavour. The newest addition to Follow Your Heart’s range of sliced cheeses, the Medium Cheddar Style Slices are plant-based but taste, melt, and feel just like the real thing.

Finally, EasiYo is the world’s No.1 make-at-home yogurt brand, says Mark Ventress, EasiYo’s General Manager. “To make fresh yogurt that keeps up to two weeks in the fridge requires no moving parts or electronics: consumers simply mix an EasiYo sachet with room-temperature water, boil a kettle and wait for eight hours before refrigerating.

EasiYo dispenses with the need for single-use plastic yogurt pots. One sachet of EasiYo makes 1kg of fresh yogurt, saving 8 x 125g single-use plastic pots from entering the supply chain. For every 1% of the UK yogurt category that switched to EasiYo, 41 million pots would be saved – that’s 287 tonnes of single-use plastic annually. In addition, ambient EasiYo sachets require neither chilled distribution nor in-store refrigeration, saving grocery retailers money and reducing carbon footprints.

EasiYo isn’t just yogurt with a conscience: it’s free from artificial ingredients, thickeners, stabilisers, gums and gluten, and suitable for vegetarians. Also, as EasiYo is mixed fresh at home and its live cultures are activated only when made, it results in yogurt with the freshest cultures possible.

“EasiYo has been here twenty years,” says Mark Ventress, “and we know consumers love our products and our approach. We’ve a well-established, loyal following and EasiYo consumers are evangelical about the brand, telling their friends, family and Facebook about the great product they’ve discovered.”

Sold as an ambient product with an 18-month shelf-life, EasiYo offers the potential, says Mark, to take yogurt beyond the chilled section and help make single-use pots a thing of the past:

“There is proven consumer demand for EasiYo make-at-home yogurt, and the time is right to embark on the next stage of the brand’s development and increase access to the EasiYo range by expanding distribution into mainstream grocery.”

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