Dairy Industry: 4 Consumer Trends Reshaping Business

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Written by Brian Lynch

August 13, 2020

It has been quite a year for the dairy industry. The current crisis has caused consumers to change almost every aspect of their lives, including their shopping habits.

Nobody knows if the recent changes in customer behavior will be permanent. We do know that consumers will continue to look for the fastest, easiest way to get their dairy needs met.

In this article, and in the video below, I will discuss four consumer trends developing within the dairy industry. These are important trends that we believe will reshape the entire industry.

4 Important Consumer Trends to Address

Our BottleOne team is meeting these consumer trends head on, and as you’ll see, BottleOne’s PET bottle addresses all of these trends.

In the dairy industry, as in all industries, the consumer drives the trends. The best place to start when determining how to address consumer trends is at the customer experience level. What do customers experience when they purchase your product? Does it meet their expectations? Does it exceed them?

The four trends we will discuss in this article are:

  1. Transparency
  2. Innovation
  3. Sustainability
  4. E-Commerce

Dairy Industry Trend 1: Transparency

Simply put, the consumer wants to see what is in their dairy package. They also desire to know exactly what is in the package, and where it is processed. They expect all of this to be on the label.

Over the past few years, I have taken note of how many people I see reading labels in the supermarket. Consumers are more conscientious about what they are putting into their bodies. Transparency of the packaging (figuratively and literally) goes a long way to satisfy this need.

This transparency trend reaches far beyond the dairy industry. Even within the restaurant industry, owners have created an open atmosphere so diners can watch what goes on in the kitchen and enjoy seeing the chef. Consumers want to know and see what is going on behind the scenes.

BottleOne is the only large format package that delivers on this most critical consumer trend. Recent studies from academia support this conclusion. The consumer does not like the traditional HDPE opaque bottle or variants of it. They want the crystal clear transparency of a PET package.

OUT WITH THE OLD! IN WITH THE NEW!

Dairy Industry Trend 2: Innovation

Consumers want innovation. They demand innovative products that are fresh and cool. This means new ideas, new products and new ways of doing business.

When today’s moms look at a dairy jug, it looks like the same jug their grandmothers used 50 years ago. While there is some comfort in that, it also leaves the impression that these milk jugs have not been designed for the needs of the modern family. These moms want to know that their needs in 2020 have been designed into a modern package.

Again, this innovation should be driven by the consumer. It should address our ever-changing lifestyles. According to recent studies, the perception of innovation plays a huge role in purchasing decisions.

There have been some PET bottle designs that have attempted to provide this innovation. Usually it has been a bottle with a handle around the neck or something similar, but in the end, those were inferior designs that the consumer rejected.

Consumers want a milk jug with a handle that is easy to carry and put on the shelf when they get home. They don’t want it to leak or spill when they open it to make that first pour, or when they store it.

BottleOne is the first company ever to put an integrated PET handle on PET packages. It has been a 40-year holy grail in the making. BottleOne’s patented technology addresses these consumer needs. Consumers recognize this and find it attractive. BottleOne’s Bill Duelge discusses this more in a recent interview.

Dairy Industry Trend 3: Sustainability

Sustainability has been a major initiative for several years. Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, and packaging sustainability continues to be a topic of conversation.

We see this in the increased number of corporate sustainability reports being released each year. Sustainable packaging is no longer a luxury for brands, it is a necessity, and brands are willing to be held accountable by consumers.

In the dairy industry specifically, a sub-trend of sustainability is a trend called “caseless,” meaning without crates or boxes or trays. Everyone seems to be talking about caseless solutions, which eliminate secondary packaging.

You may have seen Costco pushing their version of caseless in the milk aisle. The problem with their bottles is that they are still in HDPE, which means they have to apply a foil seal to the neck to prevent leakage. Though these bottles offer some innovation, they certainly are not transparent.

Additionally, in order to use HDPE, they have to use a bottle shape that is very non-typical of what consumers are used to. The vast majority of large format bottles are HDPE. HDPE bottles are not designed to be caseless, and as a result, they can’t handle any weight or be stacked, or even lay on their side for any period of time.

At BottleOne, we drive out costs that are related to waste with our PET caseless solution, which eliminates that secondary packaging. Ours is the only truly caseless solution because of the strength and durability of our material, the design of the bottle and the hermetic seal.

We can use 100% recycled PET, thus closing the loop. Everything we do delivers on that sustainability value proposition. You can read more about that in the sustainability section of our website.

Dairy Industry Trend 4: E-Commerce

The e-commerce trend has been growing for several years, but it has seen a huge jump across almost all industries in the retail sector during the current crisis. Retailers across the board are investing heavily in e-commerce as shoppers continue to experience the convenience of online ordering.

Brick-and-Click is becoming more popular as consumers drive this e-commerce trend. Brick-and-Click is a retail strategy that includes a physical store and an online store integrated together into one brand presence.

As more people prefer to shop from their computers rather than drive to stores, e-commerce is becoming a way of life for many of us. E-commerce is an important trend to address, even in the dairy industry.

How does BottleOne meet the e-commerce trend head on? The answer is in the hermetic seal. The BottleOne injection stretch blow molding process has a precision bottle with a precision closure, which produces a hermetic seal.

A BottleOne PET bottle will not leak from the production floor to the consumer’s refrigerator. We all know what it is like to reach into a supermarket refrigerator only to pull out a sticky milk jug with leaked milk on it. The process of manufacturing that bottle does not allow for a tight seal. So it allows things to get in and out, which isn’t good.

The strength and durability of our hermetic seal solves that problem. Suddenly milk can go through the delivery system and arrive without any issues with leaking milk, ingress of oxygen (adversely affects flavor and vitamin retention) or even worse, bacteria.

From the consumer’s perspective, we think e-commerce is a minimum point of entry. It is an absolute requirement.

Final Thoughts

Professionals in the dairy industry know that where the industry is headed is more important than where it is right now. These four current trends in consumer behavior are important to address now before they become even more prevalent in the future.

At BottleOne, we have gained a deep understanding about what dairy industry consumers want, and we are here to help you address these trends in your business. To learn more about us, click over to our website or complete the consultation invitation below. We can show you how we can bring value to your company.

Let us show you how BottleOne will improve your operating efficiencies and increase your profitability

BottleOne is an affordable large capacity, standard grade PET bottle with an integrated PET handle. BottleOne is designed to dramatically impact your supply chain. Let us introduce you to this 21st century operating model.

10 Comments

  1. TP Roembke

    Yes Brian I am tired of leaking dairy gallons in my frig and it would be nice to see the milk product we are purchasing.

    PET bottles are very valuable in the recycling stream due to the fact you can produce”new bottles” with recycled PET material from old bottles.

    Interesting thoughts in your presentation.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Brian Lynch

      Thanks Tom for your insight. It is very much appreciated coming from an industry pioneer and veteran such as yourself.

  2. Andrew Wiseman

    A great package that will prove to be a “Killer Application,” disrupting the space. Early adopters will greatly benefit!! Very Innovative!

    Reply
    • Brian Lynch

      Thank you so much for the high praise Andrew. Having seen first-hand your decades of innovation in new to the world products that means a lot.

  3. Diana Adams

    Great article, Brian.

    I ordered a couple gallons of milk from Publix to be delivered by Instacart last week.

    They leaked all over the sidewalk leading up to my door and all over the front porch.

    I had to get the hose out to clean it all up. Gross.

    I can’t wait until all milk is packaged in these BottleOne PET bottles.

    Ohh… and I contacted Instacart about it, and they refunded my money for all the milk. I wonder how often they have to do that. I’m sure it’s costly.

    Anyhow, great article! I enjoyed this one.

    Reply
    • Brian Lynch

      Thank you Diana for your comment. I wish that I could tell you that your experience was the exception rather than the rule, but I cannot. Hopefully, the leaking did not destroy any of the others products in your order.

      Typically, the e-commerce companies will ship liquids separately for that exact reason. They’ll wrap the bottle of milk in a cellophane of some type and then put it in its own separate box. Not exactly sustainable behaviors.

      The good news, BottleOne eliminates all of those issues with our hermetic seal, and, if your refrigerator ever gets tight, you can store the gallon or half gallon of milk on its side with our bottle as BottleOne will NOT leak.

  4. Dan Lafond

    Well done Brian. Lots of insight here.

    Reply
    • Brian Lynch

      Thanks Dan! It is great to hear from you. I hope everything is going well in the Big D with Greif.

  5. Mark Anderson

    I do all the grocery shopping in my house and will be looking for this great product. I had a leaker the other day. What a mess. Best of luck and great video. You are a natural!

    Reply
    • Brian Lynch

      Thanks Mark! It is great to hear from you. I hope all is well with your family and at Waste Management.

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