Health perception key to lactose-free growth

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

DSM: manufacturers should use the lactose-free ‘health halo’ in crossover dairy products
DSM: manufacturers should use the lactose-free ‘health halo’ in crossover dairy products

Related tags: Milk

The growth of lactose-free milk in emerging markets is being driven more by its perceived health benefits than people’s lactose intolerance, new research has found.

A significant number of lactose-free dairy drinkers in developing markets claim their main decision to buy lactose-free products was down to their health appeal, according to the latest Global Insight Series from ingredients firm DSM.

The report was based on a survey that compared results from the established low-lactose market in Finland with the upcoming markets of Colombia and China.

The main driver

In the survey, 48% of consumers in Colombia and 65% in China said the health benefits of a lactose-free product was the main driver behind their choice.

The reason that it would be easier to digest lagged behind at 32% and 36% respectively.

Furthermore, 82% of consumers in Colombia and 73% of consumers in China agreed that lactose-free dairy was healthier than regular dairy.

Meanwhile, only 21% of Finnish people rated lactose intolerance as one of their three most important reasons for buying lactose-free dairy.

Continued innovation

According to the DSM report, continued innovation has enabled lactose-free to become mainstream in Finland, more than a decade since the launch of the first lactose-free milk in the country.

It suggested that manufacturers should use the lactose-free ‘health halo’ in crossover dairy products, combining it with beneficial ingredients such as fibres, proteins vitamins, nutritional ingredients or real fruit, to create new ‘better for you’ extensions to existing options.

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