drinktec: Also a hotspot for the milk industry

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Milk is diversifying. Mixed milk drinks now already generate annual retail sales of around EUR 100 billion on the global market, i.e. roughly as much as the international market for standard milk products. The market for mixed milk drinks is growing rapidly, especially outside Europe. Market experts will therefore also examine this area during drinktec, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, in Munich from September 11 to 15, 2017. That’s because drinktec is now also the world’s leading trade fair for the milk industry.

The development of the global market for dairy products is closely linked to the economic growth in countries where milk consumption is rising enormously at times. At present, these countries are primarily located in Asia and the Middle East. Vietnam, for example, had practically no milk industry twenty years ago. However, the country has been experiencing annual growth rates of around 20 percent for two decades. According to figures from Vietnam’s Socio-Economic Development, the Vietnamese currently consume 30 times more milk products than in 1990. A large proportion of the milk is also supplied from traditional milk producing countries in Europe, the USA and New Zealand in the form of milk powder. Due to far-reaching demographic changes, China is another important driving force for the baby food industry. A development from which German milk producers can also gain above-average advantages.

1 in 2 exhibitors will present solutions for the milk industry
More than half of all exhibitors at drinktec 2017, i.e. exactly 55 percent, announced during the run-up to the trade fair that they would present solutions for the milk industry.

drinktec 2013 was attended by more than 12,000 visitors from the areas of milk and liquid milk products. This represented an increase of 58 percent compared with the previous event. During drinktec 2017 exhibitors will present the entire range of treatment of milk, whey and liquid food. This will extend from cooling and storage by means of thermal preservation, and separators and equipment for skimming, standardization and homogenization through to complete systems for milk and liquid milk products. However, suppliers of raw materials and additives such as fruit and vegetable juice concentrates, soya products and other milk alternatives will also exhibit their products in the exhibition halls.

New milk-based ideas
The soft drinks segment is also providing milk producers with new possibilities. Carbonized refreshments have become a topic for discussion, keyword “obesity/adiposis”, on account of their frequently high sugar content. Large dairies regard this as an opportunity and are now attempting to supply more milk drinks as a healthy alternative to soft drinks in future. A fizzy drink containing milk and fruit juice, a drink comprising milk and tea or a high-protein energy drink are some examples of new milk drink ideas with which the European dairy cooperative Aria Foods is aiming to triple turnover from the current figure of EUR 230 million in this segment of the beverage market by 2020—outside the standard range of milk products.

Other dairies also see highly promising prospects in this area and are combining, e.g. like Ennstal Milch, top-quality Alpine milk with Japanese organic matcha green tea. Drinks should not only look good nowadays, but also be healthy and innovative. In the area of drinking whey and mixed whey products the market is also characterized by new products, e.g. the Austrian company NÖM AG with a fasting vital drink in attractively designed plastic bottles with a full body sleeve. All these new milk drinks can compete for the Beverage Innovation Award@drinktec which will be presented again during drinktec 2017. The coveted prizes in numerous categories for creative and innovative ideas and solutions are awarded, for example, for the “Best dairy drink”.

Pasture grazing, hay flowers—or textile fibers
In the standard milk range dairies increasingly want to score points with consumers by offering organic products: fresh milk from pasture grazing, milk from cows eating domestic and regional feedstuffs without genetic engineering or hay flower milk as a natural alternative, which stands out due to extremely high animal husbandry standards, can be found to an increasing extent on shop shelves.

Milk, or to put it a better way, the components of milk can also naturally be used in entirely different ways. The company Qmilch IP has developed, for example, a biopolymer made of casein (milk protein). The casein is produced from raw milk which can no longer be marketed. In Germany alone, two million liters of raw milk are disposed of every year. The fibers thus obtained are used for clothing, home textiles, in the automobile industry and in medical technology. Another way in which to market milk.

Supporting program for milk producers
During drinktec 2017 Hall B1 alone will have 11,000 square meters of exhibition space for the areas of raw materials, ingredients, additives and treatment agents. In this ideal environment, the special area “New Beverage Concepts” will also be an excellent place for visitors from the dairy industry to obtain suggestions for their future innovations. An ideal place for product developers, brand and innovation managers, and marketing managers and buyers to test new beverage concepts and look for new ideas. At the last drinktec in 2013 12,000 visitors alone came from the sales and marketing segments. The Innovation Flow Lounge was also established for these visitors at drinktec 2013 and will now be continued during drinktec 2017 with a new concept as a source of inspiration for marketing, packaging and product innovation. The last day in the drinktec Forum will be devoted solely to the topic of milk. The themes will range from microwave processes in pasteurization and preservation methods through to fractionation of milk protein by means of microfiltration (see also the Press Release “Highlights from the supporting program”, dated June 1, 2017).

In the afternoon, the Central Association of German Dairy Farming (ZDM) will hold its festive event with the presentation of awards to the Best of the Year in training in the dairy industry.

Torsten Sach, Managing Director of ZDM, said: “Milk is at home all over the world just like milk processors. What could be more natural than to visit drinktec in Munich where the beverage bottling industry meets.”