Food & Beverage Manufacturing


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Demand for quality nutrition is on the rise in established and maturing economies. Beverages offer health halo appeal to the all-ages audience of nutrition-conscious and active consumers around the world. The addition of U.S. dairy ingredients provides drinks with a shot of nutrition fortification with protein and other valuable minerals and nutrients. As each type of beverage formulation call for unique specifications, U.S. dairy suppliers offer hundreds of different dairy ingredients with a range of functional benefits such as clarity, emulsification, foaming, solubility, texture and flavor.

Beverage Trends

BeveragesGrowth in the beverage market is shifting towards drinks that offer improved nutrition and diverse consumer benefits. These "better drink" formulas also need to appeal to different needs throughout the day, ranging from a morning pickup to a relaxing evening wind down.   

Improved Nutrition

Diets high in protein can help promote satiety, curb hunger and preserve lean body mass. Nearly half of consumers seek out foods and beverages high in protein1, and research shows consumers not only seek out protein beyond traditional sources, but also find dairy protein to be a high-quality alternative.2 Protein drinks and shakes continue to gain steam, and non-traditional dairy beverages can help consumers achieve their protein intake goals.  

The popularity of sports nutrition drinks, drinkable yogurt and fermented beverages has increased around the globe. Drinkable yogurt and fermented beverages have experienced a 12% compounded annual growth rate over the last five years.3 During that same period, sports nutrition drinks, which often include whey and other dairy proteins, have moved into the mainstream market.4  

The morning day part provides a significant opportunity to tap the demand for increased protein intake throughout the day. Breakfast reigns as the fastest-growing consumer eating occasion, with U.S. sales of foods and beverages, both retail and foodservice, targeted for morning consumption estimated at approximately $208 billion and on the rise.5 The popularity of portable options continues to grow, with label statements about portability or quickness carried on 37% of successful new U.S. food and beverage launches in the retail sector.6 Meanwhile, beverages are also a popular breakfast item because of the convenience.   


Ingredients from the U.S. dairy industry provide food and beverage formulations with flavor, function and nutrition. The benefits of six common dairy ingredients are highlighted in the chart below.

 Lactose(Details)Milk Protein Concentrate(Details)Whey Protein Concentrate(Details)Whey Protein Isolate(Details)Yogurt(Details)
Bulking   yes yes    
Clarity   yes   yes  
Emulsification   yes      
Flavor Benefits yes     yes yes
Foaming   yes      
Heat Stability   yes      
Neutral Taste   yes yes    
Protein Fortification   yes yes yes yes
Solubility     yes yes  
Texture yes   yes   yes
Water Binding   yes yes    
Whipping   yes      
  Lactose Details Milk Protein Details Whey Details Whey Details

Formulas & Recipes

Access U.S. Dairy Export Council prototype formulations for inspiration on coffee and creamy drink applications, drinkable yogurt and fruit smoothies, as well as juices, sports drinks, teas, drink mixes and meal replacement beverages.

Taro and Caramel High Protein Dessert

Taro and Caramel High Protein Dessert

Combining the creamy and nutritious blend of taro and caramel, enjoy this high protein dessert that also serves as a meal replacement.


Whey Protein Enriched Lychee Performance Drink

Whey Protein Enriched Lychee Performance Drink

This refreshing, muscle-friendly whey protein beverage is great to enjoy post-workout.


Soursop Healthy Aging Drink

Soursop Healthy Aging Drink

Enjoy this refreshing thirst quencher made with U.S. whey protein isolate that is sure to invigorate your senses.


Resources & Insights

Looking for further innovation ideas and technical support? Download the resources below for more information on developing beverage applications with U.S. Dairy.

U.S. Dairy Ingredients in Yogurt and Yogurt Beverages

The popularity and consumption of yogurt and yogurt beverages continues to grow as people around the world recognize the health and wellness benefits associated with consumption of these fermented dairy foods.

U.S. Dairy Ingredients in Ready-to-Drink Beverages

Ready-to-drink beverages offer today's busy consumers the advantage of convenience and portability, and provide the opportunity to incorporate innovative ingredients showcased in exciting packaging.

Fortification for Milk and Beverages 

The dairy industry has a unique opportunity to promote milk fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients as a great way to build healthy bones and supply other vital health benefits.

Protein-Based Functional Beverages

Whey proteins can play an important role in the functional beverage market, particularly in segments designed for women and the Baby Boomer age segment.

1NMI 2011 Health and Wellness Trends Database; Slide 18.
2Emerging Diets: Protein/Local Shapshot. Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy 2010.
3Innova Database. Drinking Yogurt/Fermented Beverages. October 2013.
4Innova Database. Protein Sources, Benefits & Opportunities. May 2013.
5DMIC White Paper, Breakfast: A Fresh Look at the Dairy Opportunity, Jan. 2013, page 5.
6Category Review, Future of Dairy Dig Sights, Snacking IC, March 2013, slide 17.