The Dairy Research Institute, through the support of the dairy checkoff, announced the winners of the inaugural Dairy Research Institute New Product Competition during a special July 16 ceremony at the 2012 American Dairy Science Association Meeting in Phoenix. The competition is designed to help inspire dairy innovation by challenging college students to develop dairy-based products that meet consumer needs. This year, participants were tasked with creating a dairy beverage that included more than 51% of fresh milk, dry milk or other dairy ingredients.
"The estimated $37 billion beverage industry presents significant opportunities for dairy-based drinks," said Bill Graves, senior vice president, Dairy Research Institute. "Generating ideas based on consumer needs and trends identified by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, students demonstrated innovative ways that dairy can help meet this demand. Their idea-sparking beverages were great-tasting and nutritious, delivering what consumers expect from dairy products. We congratulate all the students on the work they submitted, and encourage industry to consider these opportunities."
The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students who submitted entries as individuals or teams. Three winners were selected from 18 entries.
"Spurring product innovation, while at the same time identifying future leaders in the U.S. dairy industry is a win-win for dairy farmers," said Bill Siebenborn, a Missouri dairy farmer and chairman of United Dairy Industry Association. UDIA represents 18 state and regional dairy promotion organizations across the country, helping fund the dairy checkoff program, a primary funding source for the Dairy Research Institute. "By identifying innovative products that meet today's consumer needs, we are helping contribute to the long-term viability of the U.S. dairy industry."