Why the Demand for Real Dairy Continues to Grow

With a recent increase in dairy alternative products entering the market, many are wondering if consumers still want real dairy products. But with 71% of US consumers still exclusively consuming dairy products1, the answer is clear—consumers still seek real dairy in their diet. Read on as we explore some of the driving factors and consumer trends that are pushing the dairy category forward.

Consumers Seek Natural Ingredients

Dairy ingredients have been a focus in the food and beverage industry for a long time due to their rich flavor and creamy texture. But dairy ingredients provide more benefits than just taste and texture. They are natural ingredients, with a strict chain of supply. And with today’s consumers checking ingredient labels more than ever, this has given dairy products the opportunity to shine. According to a recent study, natural ingredients are a main deciding factor for consumers when picking products.2

When you work with Butter Buds® you get real dairy ingredients that come straight from America’s dairy heartland in Wisconsin—giving your consumers confidence that they know where their ingredients are coming from. Real dairy also produces plenty of opportunities for clean label and organic applications. Explore our clean label options here.

Consumers Seek Overall Health & Wellness

Consumer desire for real dairy is driven by many factors, but impact on health always rises to the top of the list. In fact, 56% of consumers said “I generally view dairy as having a positive impact on health.”3 Recent trends have shown consumers specific interests in personal and holistic health, with more than 1 in 3 consumers that have started being proactive about their health.2 Along with this proactive mindset, there’s been an increase in consumer preference for dairy products that have added health benefits.2 Benefits such as immunity, prebiotic dietary fiber and calcium, joint health claims, which are up 254% in one year2, as well as skin and brain health have all started popping up in products across the dairy category.

The ability to tailor your real dairy product offerings to the evolving tastes of consumers helps position your brand for a better bottom line. And Butter Buds® dairy ingredient solutions can help! Dive into the world of real dairy benefits in our complimentary white paper.

Consumers Seek Cost-Conscious Options

We know price can have a big impact on consumer trends. According to Mintel’s 2024 Global Food & Drink Trends, “cost and taste are non-negotiables for consumers in 2024.”4 Another recent report found that higher prices due to inflation actually have a greater impact on plant-based alternative sales than on dairy product sales,1 contributing to the growth of the dairy category.

And when you work with Butter Buds®, we can help you navigate these economic challenges. Since our real dairy solutions are highly concentrated, they feature extremely low application levels. This means your brand’s bottom line gets a boost by:

  • Reducing total ingredient cost—without compromising taste or texture

  • Helping control costs and protect profit margins—with more stable pricing compared to dairy commodities as a whole.

Real Dairy for Real Results

Working with real dairy experts, like those at Butter Buds®, can give you an edge when it comes to formulating your next food and beverage innovation. We use our scientific expertise, practical experience and efficiency to help you craft on-trend dairy solutions that provide functionality as well as flavor. The application opportunities are endless when you work with Butter Buds®—from traditional dairy-based applications to new innovations—including:

  • Bakery

  • Confectionery

  • Beverages

  • Sauces & Dressings

  • Soups

  • Snacks

  • Desserts

  • And more!

Learn more about our real dairy solutions on our Real Dairy for Real Results page.

Ready to get started? Contact the Butter Buds® team to get innovating!



3 Mintel US milk and non-dairy milk market report, 2021

4 Mintel Global Food & Drink Trends, 2024