Nikhil Sawant

----by Nikhil Sawant, Merchandise Manager for Dairy, Countdown

New Zealanders continue to search for more healthy alternatives, and we’re seeing this trend flow through into several areas of the supermarket including the dairy category. The whole dairy market has seen a lot of growth and innovation in the last couple of years.
In particular, flavoured and organic milk are the two skews that have seen the biggest increase in demand from customers. Suppliers have responded by creating different pack sizes and options to suit consumers need. Natural yoghurt has also experienced an increase in popularity as customers continue to become more health-conscious and look for alternative options for breakfast and cooking ingredients.
As consumer habits change, so too does the industry and whilst traditional dairy has increased, it is the dairy alternative products like coconut milk, yoghurt and or fresh nut milks which are experiencing the biggest growth and increase in customer demand. If this demand continues, then we may see alternative dairy options commanding more shelf space.
Convenience continues to drive changes across the whole supermarket and is a big area of growth, particularly convenience meals and convenient products. Within the dairy sector, we continue to see more adult and kids' snacking options in cheese such as sliced cheese, pre-packed cheese and crackers, and cheese sticks highlighting the increasing demand for protein in our customers’ daily dietary intake.
Another area of growth has been fresh juice and drinks with live cultures such as Kombucha and we envisage that this will be a trend of the future.