As a beverage in its own right and a favorite enhancement to coffees, teas and other drinks over the centuries, dairy stands the test of time. Milk products continue to satisfy thirst, taste and nutritional needs in both traditional and modern applications.
Today's fast-paced, ever-mobile consumer lifestyles create a new dairy niche in the beverage market in the form of protein-enhanced drinks, drinkable yogurts and smoothies. For nutrition-conscious and active consumers of all ages, dairy-infused beverages can be an innovative source of fuel, minerals and other nutrients.
Dairy products from the United States can help foodservice operators meet this growing consumer need with ingredients crafted to enhance made-to-order fresh drinks and smoothies. Learn more about U.S. dairy products in the Product Section.
The proliferation of coffee houses and the prevalence of dairy-enhanced coffee drinks such as cappuccino, latte and mocha has led to increased consumption of dairy in beverages. Specialty coffee drinks-both hot and cold-highlight beverage selections at major U.S. quick service restaurant (QSR) chains. This international trend continues to grow, particularly in Asia, where coffee consumption is in its initial growth phase.
First served in the last millennium, dairy-based kefirs or "drinkable yogurts" with modern flavor and flair are increasingly popular with children and health-conscious adults. While kefir and drinkable yogurts are typically packaged goods, U.S. foodservice operators are building on the trend with a range of dairy-infused smoothie offerings.
Dairy in coffee & coffee drinks
The prodigious spread of coffee houses-single-location, ever-expanding mega chains and everything in between-likewise expands use of dairy in coffee beverages. As tea drinkers become converts to specialty coffee drinks and existing coffee drinkers explore specialty coffee offerings, the trend creates international opportunities for all types of beverage menus. Specialty coffees are now popular additions to most QSR menus in the United States.
A base of lowfat milk, yogurt or whey protein provides extra nutritional punch to fruit and vegetable add-ins, to create smoothies to meet consumers' healthful cravings. The beverage menu option provides consumers with on-the-go, nutritious and flavorful snacks or meal replacements, and is found in free-standing juice bars, in-store kiosks and restaurants from QSR to fine dining.