MAKING THE MOST OF DAIRY, WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY 22ND & 23RD OF APRIL 2009
SESSION 1: MARKET PERSPECTIVE
Richard Hall of Zenith International chaired the ‘Making the most of dairy’ conference held at Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid. He welcomed guests and introduced Ignacio Urbelz (Grupo Leche Pascual), who gave an overview of the Spanish dairy market and stated that there is a need for a strategic plan to enable competitiveness across the whole dairy sector by 2015. Despite an increase in the Spanish population, milk consumption per person has decreased but current quota systems prevent Spain from producing more milk and being competitive.
Bernard Hors (Danone) presented Danone’s outlook on re-inventing the role of food in health. They have recently acquired an infant nutrition group which now enables them to look at health and nutrition from infancy right through to older age. He also spoke on how Danone customize their big selling brands to local preference and taste, so that they produce “local products” for specific countries, for example they produce ‘madeline’ in France and kefir in other countries.
SESSION 2: CONSUMERS, HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The keynote address was provided by Tom Coley (Nestlé SA) in which he discussed Nestlé’s new agenda for nutrition, health and wellness. Childhood obesity and nutrient deficiencies will be addressed within this new agenda. Nestlé have chosen not to advertise to children less than 6 years and will choose the foods they advertise to children aged 6-12 years based on their nutrient profiling model. In relation to nutritional deficiencies, Mr Coley stated that 30% of the world’s population is anaemic and 35% have insufficient iodine. He also reported that 500,000 children go blind each year as they lack vitamin A, while zinc deficiency is also highly prevalent. To overcome such deficiencies, Nestlé have a product called NIDO which is a milk powder fortified with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and iron.
Edward Garner’s (TNS Worldpanel) presentation entitled “Consumer outlook in the new economic climate” included information on consumer purchasing, trends and increases and decreases in market sales. He highlighted that in this time of economic crisis consumers are now influenced by price and product switch from more expensive brands and premium products to cheaper alternatives is the biggest contributor to overall market change for the year. While people are willing to shop ethically (e.g. fair-trade bananas), spending on organic foods has decreased. Mr Garner dismissed the need to slash prices in this economic crisis, as consumers will not appreciate price increases when the market recovers and may continue buying cheaper products.
Kevin Bellamy (Global Dairy Platform) addressed communication of dairy and wellness, in particular the need to communicate collectively on dairy fat. He portrayed dairy fat as the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the dairy industry and said consumers are confused and overwhelmed with advice and information. He reported on a coalition set up to look at dairy fat and also summarised the findings of major studies which have shown dairy consumption to benefit health. He also re-in forced the need for the dairy industry to work together to give clear and consistent messaging and to communicate messages on nutrient density effectively.
SESSION 3: SUSTAINABILITY, ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Rick Naczi (Dairy Management Inc), Adrian Williams (IGD) and Gert Coun (Sabic Europe) spoke in the afternoon “Sustainability, ethics and the environment” session. Mr Naczi reported on a sustainability summit held last year and proposed that a second summit will be held later next year. Adrian Williams showed how UK retailers are responding to the issue of sustainability by decreasing carbon emissions, optimising transport and distribution, using environmentally friendly packaging, sourcing foods responsibly and locally and also reducing packaging and waste. He also made reference to foundations and developments set up by individual retailers, while Gert Coun discussed how SABIC, a globally diversified chemical company, are committed to being a sustainable supplier and have introduced improved polyethylene products for milk bottles which offer higher purity and lower migration levels of plastics into milk.
SESSION 4: EMERGING MARKETS
The final session of Wednesday saw speakers from Brazil, Russia, India and China highlight new developments in their dairy markets, trends for the future and new opportunities in each of their countries. The cheese market is growing in Brazil, while present day Russia, a stable business environment, is showing a move from premium dairy products to basic due to recession. The Indian and Chinese markets are both growing and while the Indian market is expecting big increases due to its’ increasing population under 25 years, the domestic Chinese market suffered due to the melamine incident while international brands were not as hard hit. China is also seeing great demand for dairy products to which natural and traditional herbs are addeD.
DAY 2, SESSION 1: NEW DAIRY DIMENSIONS
Silviu Popovich (Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russia) opened day 2 and the session entitled ‘New dairy dimensions’ by presenting his product ‘Beauty’. ‘Beauty’ is designed for women to help their skin, hair and nails and contains aloe vera and B vitamins. Clinical trials using this dairy drink have shown positive results after 3 weeks of consumption. Mikko Laavainen (Raisio Group) presented the product ‘Benecol’ for heart health, which is supported by over 60 clinical trials all showing the product to reduce cholesterol and has received a positive opinion from EFSA for its health claim. Raisio licence both the product and active ingredient to others across the worl.
SESSION 2: FUNCTIONAL CASE STUDIES
Case studies depicting the functionality of dairy foods were presented in session 2. Geoff Platt (dairy innovation) gave an overview of dairy products on the global market aimed at solving common problems and medical problems and portrayed dairy as a ‘medicine chest’. Dairy products are available to aid sleep, memory, cholesterol and blood pressure, bloating, weight management, satiety, to provide an energy kick and in Spain there is a milk product specifically designed for pregnant mothers. Espen Thomassen (TINE), JD Sethi (Dahlicious Lassi) and Maider Hormaza (Kaiku Coporación Alimentaria) each spoke of functional products they work with. Thomassen spoke on the use of omega-3 fatty acids in dairy, in particular yogurts; Sethi presented his new company which produces a natural probiotic organic smoothie and Hormaza outlined some products that Kaiku, a Spanish company, has on the market which offer functionality to the consumer.
SESSION 3: NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS WORKSHOP
The afternoon session involved a workshop on Nutrition and Health Claims which was led by Dr Judith Bryans (The Dairy Council). Dr Bryans provided some history on nutrition and health claims and discussed the current situation both in Europe and Australia and New Zealand before participants were split into working groups for a Q&A session.
SESSION 4: DAIRY MARKET BRIEFING
Ester Renfrew (Zenith International Ltd) presented the conference’s final presentation ‘dairy market briefing’. She outlined trends for individual dairy foods across the globe and specific regions and concluded by saying that companies who over the last 50 years maintained vigorous marketing during a market slump benefited greater than those who reduced their spending.
Richard Hall bought the conference to a close and thanked speakers and guests.