The dairy industry needs to accelerate the development of innovative new products that will appeal specifically to young people, according to a new expert panel created by The Dairy Council.
At its inaugural meeting in London the panel which comprises health and nutrition experts from around the world addressed how the dairy industry can encourage young people to choose milk-based products as a healthy quick snack, a sports recovery drink or an attractive beverage "to be seen with".
"It is apparent that the dairy industry needs to increase the accessibility of milk-based drinks and address the image and appeal for young people," said Dr Judith Bryans, director of The Dairy Council. "We want children to focus on understanding the meaning of making healthy eating and drinking choices.
"Milk is an excellent source of essential nutrients for bone growth and development. It is an easy way for children to contribute to their recommended daily intake of calcium."
The requirement for research that demonstrates dairy's nutritional role in a sustainable diet was also addressed. The experts agree that this evidence is desperately needed to feed into government initiatives in this area.
"Messages clearly need to be defined on the benefits of drinking milk and marketed so they are easily and readily available to young people," added Bryans.