Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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December 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 49 P lant-based milks and nondairy bever- ages remain a hotbed of innovation. "is is a $4.2 billion category, with most of the growth happening in the RTD [ready-to-drink] segment, which is up 4.3 percent, while shelf-stable milks are actu- ally down," says Kora Lazarski, strategic alliance manager at Chicago-based SPINS. According to Lazarski, nondairy beverages resonate with both vegan and Paleo consumers who are looking for new protein sources. Sales of soy and rice milk, once the backbone of the category, have been waning as sales of coconut, almond, hemp, quinoa, macadamia, pistachio and tiger nut milks have all grown. Parsippany, N.J.-based Kings Food Markets devotes 4 feet to shelf-stable nondairy milks in the cereal aisle, including macadamia, oat, hemp and cashew milks. e chain also includes Califia al- mond milks, dairy milk-based Rumble supershakes and Orgain organic protein shakes in its grab-and- go section in the front of the store near checkout. "ese products are getting the RTD treatment as retailers are moving them away from the pantry sections and placing them in grab-and-go sections near other RTD products in the front of the store," notes Lazarski. From Commodity to Specialty "Dairy milk was viewed as a commodity, but if you add nutritional density without adding calories, the category becomes much more valuable to consumers and retailers," observes Greg Steltenpohl, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Califia Farms. "e usage occasions for nutritionally dense products are more frequent and diverse than ever," adds Steltenpohl. "For people who are working late, the products offer satiety. ey can also replace breakfast. Grab-and-go is a way of life for consum- ers, and if retailers aren't offering these products, they aren't serving their consumers." Califia recently introduced an Enhanced Milks line of 10.5-ounce single-serve almond and coconut milks retailing for $2.79 each. e line includes Ginger Almond Milk with Turmeric, Vanilla Protein Almond Milk, Chocolate Almond Milk, Whole Coconut Milk and Matcha Almond Milk. In dairy milks, chocolate milk could be the next cold brew treated like cold- pressed coffee, with flavorings like Mayan spike or mint. More sophisticated chocolate milks are entering the market. Liquid Assets Drinkable yogurts (includ- ing kefirs and skyrs) are also on the rise, with dollar sales estimated to have grown 62 percent between 2011 and 2016 to reach $893 million this year, according to Mintel research. Chicago-based Mintel esti- mates that across all channels, sales of drinkable yogurt are expected to grow 11 percent in 2016, making this the second straight year of double-digit gains for the segment. Drinkable yogurts are resonating with consum- ers looking for high satiety as well as gut health benefits. One Stop & Shop location in Ridgewood, N.J., stocks several branded varieties as well as a private label kefir, along with plant-based refriger- ated milks, in a special refriger- ated section near yogurts. Nicole Mydy, innovation manager for the La Farge, Wis.- based Organic Valley co-op, says that consumers are increasingly looking for organic, natural meal replacement and protein-booster beverages, and that retailers are answering the call by merchan- dising the products in several locations throughout the store. "Our Organic Fuel and Organic Balance single-serves are in the grab-and-go sections and in the organic dairy set, and multipacks are in the high-protein product section," she notes. "Con- sumers who are looking for high-protein alternatives are buying over 100 bottles a year, so multipacks move really well in those sections." Kings recently devoted an end cap to Organic Valley single-serves and multipacks, in addition to Silk shelf-stable almond milks. PG Grass is Greener Plant-based beverage sales growing at grocery retail. By Barbara Sax "Grab-and-go is a way of life for consumers, and if retailers aren't offering these products, they aren't serving their consumers." —Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms Beverage Su PP lement

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