Food Forward

Solving the Hybrid Milk Puzzle: Dairy Meets Plant Innovation

The Rise of Flexitarianism

The plant-based trend has truly mainstreamed in recent years. A notable consumer group, “flexitarians” (flexible vegetarians), has emerged, often staying home and adopting a hybrid lifestyle, indicating a strong shift towards a flexible pattern of eating at times.

Rather than forgoing meat and dairy altogether, they are seeking to reduce their consumption of animal-based proteins for a number of reasons.

Rationale Behind Hybrid Products

Since these consumers are not sticking to a strict plant-based diet, a simple rationale exists: Why not reduce the content of animal-based proteins rather than forgoing it altogether?

This has led to a sub-trend within “plant-based” of so-called “hybrid” products that leverage the best of both worlds:  the indulgence of animal proteins, combined with the nutritional improvement & and diversification in the protein profile of the plant-based proteins.

It is about reaching consumers who are conscious about their consumption of animal-based proteins and want to boost their plant-based intake, but cannot fully commit. These consumers like the taste, texture and nutritional properties of dairy, and are not willing to compromise completely.

“Dairy hybrids are blended products involving plant proteins being incorporated into dairy products.​

Brands can harness both products’ taste and health benefits, offering the best of both worlds to consumers while meeting evolving consumer demands.

Challenges in Hybrid Milk Production

Developing high-quality hybrid milk can be challenging, requiring careful consideration of the selection and combination of protein sources, as well as adequate sensory and nutritional characteristics.

Compared to dairy, plant-based products contain less of certain mineral elements, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, as well as vitamins such as vitamin D and B12.

For this reason, plant-based dairy alternatives are often fortified to provide the maximum amount of nutrients. Health was also a very important dimension of nutrition, often being the motivator of changes in the diet. Moreover, many also believe that a healthy diet should be nutrient-rich and varied.

Besides that, 1 in 3 global consumers would not consider buying 100% plant-based alternatives because of poor taste and texture. Plant-based proteins, such as those in peas, can be challenging to use in foods because of their solubility and undesirable off-flavors.

Source: 2021 Innova Market Insights global trends survey

 

Solution via Functional Ingredients

Overcoming the challenges in hybrid milk production demands innovative solutions. We explore how advanced techniques and functional ingredients enhance flavour, nutrition, and texture, making hybrid milk an appealing, healthful option for today’s consumers.

Boosting Protein Content

BeneoPro FB P60 from Beneo is a plant-based alternative which is high in protein content and rich in fibre, it may improve the texture and protein content in the hybrid milk.

High Protein with Neutral Flavour

Pea Protein JYPP-BY has good solubility with neutral flavour. It contains high protein content and rich in essential amino acids.

Sweetness Reinvented

PalatinoseTM PST-N from Beneo is a slow release yet fully digestible sweetness enhancer in the hybrid milk. It is stable though under acidic condition and do not promote tooth decay.

Minerals Enhancement

Fortivit DAI 103 from Hexagon Nutrition improves the challenges of hybrid milk which has less certain amount of mineral elements, as it has essential vitamins and minerals and it may improve the nutrient intake as well.

 

Marketing concept

In our quest for constant innovation, we’ve conceptualised a convenient sachet pack of hybrid protein milk powder, featuring star ingredients: faba bean & pea protein!

These two legumes are high in plant protein with soluble fibre and essential amino acids, it helps in digestion and supports in healthy growth.

We’ve fortified our hybrid milk with inulin and oligofructose, promoting digestive health and improving fibre intake. It has well balanced and rounded flavour, enhancing the taste of the other ingredients in hybrid milk.

This product is presented in a user-friendly sachet, designed for ease of use and to prominently highlight its key features and benefits. This packaging approach effectively communicates the value of the product to today’s discerning consumers, emphasizing its convenience and health advantages

Packaging Concept

 

For those seeking a balance between indulgent dairy and nutritious plant-based options, hybrid milk represents a pioneering step towards sustainable, health-conscious dietary choices. If you’re interested in exploring these innovative solutions for your hybrid dairy products, we at DPO International are here to guide you. Reach out to us to discover how our expertise can enhance your offerings and meet the evolving needs of modern consumers.

References:

  1. (2022). The best of both worlds: Infusing dairy with Plant-based solutions. Insights Report.
  2. (n.d.). Dairy fusion delights: Hybrid concepts for increased plant-based eating. https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/emea/infuse-by-cargill/hybrid-dairy-formulation
  3. Craig, W. J., & Brothers, C. J. (2021). Nutritional Content and Health Profile of Non-Dairy Plant-Based Yogurt Alternatives. Nutrients13(11), 4069. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13114069
  4. Dairy Processing. (2021). Hybrid dairy products offer perfect combination. https://www.dairyprocessing.com/articles/405-hybrid-dairy-products-offer-perfect-combination
  5. Market and markets. (2023). Dariy alternative market. https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/dairy-alternatives-market-677.html#:~:text=The%20Dairy%20alternatives%20market%20is,growing%20demand%20for%20dairy%20alternatives.
  6. Ramirez-Farias C, Slezak K, Fuller Z, Duncan A, Holtrop G, Louis P. (2009) Effect of inulin on the human gut microbiota: stimulation of Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. J. Nutr., 101: 541-50.