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Toddler nutrition potential remains untapped

27 July 2016  •  Author(s): Stephanie Anthony, Editor New Food

Toddler nutrition potential remains untapped

The popularity of dairy ingredients such as whey continues to rise in the mainstream food market, and they are already well established as key ingredients in the tightly regulated infant formula sector.

However, according to leading supplier Arla Foods Ingredients, products formulated for children in the 1-3 years age bracket with nutrition-rich dairy ingredients represent a major untapped opportunity for food and beverage brands.

“As they transition from babies to toddlers, young children enter a new phase in which they leave behind their exclusively milk-based diet,” said Anne Staudt Kvistgaard, Senior Manager for Pediatric at Arla Foods Ingredients. “They begin to eat a more varied selection of food and drink and develop their own preferences. In addition, due to their limited stomach capacity and high activity levels, toddlers will often get hungry, and naturally they will crave the most tempting foods.”

She continued: “All of this means it’s very important that parents make certain their child’s needs are met to support proper growth. The toddler years are a crucial period during which it’s important to ensure children receive the right nutrients and develop healthy eating habits.”

Sales of toddler products are forecast to post a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% between now and 2018 to reach $47bn, indicating the enormous potential this market offers. According to Euromonitor, the global toddler food and beverage market was worth US$34 billion in 2015, making it significantly bigger than the $24.7bn infant formula market.

To fill this gap in the market Arla Foods Ingredients plan to produce a range of dairy ingredient solutions. Dairy ingredients offer the perfect solution for toddler-specific products as they are rich in essential amino acids and minerals, as well as being filling and gentle on the stomach. Protein contributes to growth in muscle mass, and calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones.

Anne Staudt Kvistgaard added: “A child’s diet during the sensitive toddler years is a key determinant of their health both in the short and long term. Even though they are leaving behind their milk-based diet, proteins and minerals from milk should continue to form the bedrock of their diet to ensure they get a healthy start in life. For food and beverage companies, this offers an excellent opportunity to create products that are perfectly balanced for a toddler’s specific needs, and which will appeal to parents keen to ensure the best possible diet for their children.”

Arla Foods Ingredients’ Goodness of Dairy campaign highlights how dairy ingredients are key to tapping into growing consumer demand for food that is natural, healthy and offers great taste and texture.

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