From lactose-free milk to low-calorie cheese: Bord Bia research highlights consumer attitudes and dairy innovation opportunities

The aim was to use these insights to define key opportunities for dairy producers and retailers to drive growth.

The research was conducted in conjunction with Kubi Kalloo and included a quantitative survey of more than 2,000 shoppers as well as interviews with experts and Bord Bia stakeholders.

The study identified the main drivers and roadblocks affecting purchasing decisions across different consumer demographics and highlighted opportunities across the core categories of milk, butter, yogurt and cheese, among other insights.

Affordability remains a major concern

In the quantitative survey part of the research, shoppers were asked to rank statements related to food quality, affordability, enjoyment, health, environmental and social responsibility to determine the factors that influence purchasing decisions.

Here, statements linked to health and wellbeing (e.g. ‘It is important that kids find joy in the food and drinks they consume so they don’t develop food anxieties’) and affordability (‘I generally buy groceries which offer the best price/ are most affordable’) received the greatest level of agreement from respondents.

Statements about positive sensory experiences (‘Food and beverage enjoyment is more important to me than worrying about ingredients or calories’, 53%) and environmental sustainability were next in terms of importance, while statements regarding food quality claims and nutritional benefits (‘I like to buy the highest quality products on offer, even if they cost a lot more’, 30%; ‘The nutritional benefits of food and drink I buy is something I actively research and read about’, 35%) came lowest in the ranking.