We recently released the trend report, 5 Food Trends Making Waves in 2022. To provide further insight and perspective, we asked our end use category sales director to weigh in on what he saw in the whitepaper.


Which two trends from this article stuck out to you and why?

1. Plant-Forward Trend

While consumers’ diets are changing to eating healthier and reducing meat consumption as a part of a flexitarian lifestyle, we continue to still see that dairy has a place in these plant-forward diets as seen by the menu examples in the 2022 trends piece. What we see many times when meat has been eliminated is that dairy still has a place — a slice of cheese on a plant-based burger, cheese on a cauliflower pizza or as a dairy-based sauce. Consumers are still seeking the flavors and textures that dairy ingredients add to foods.

58% of consumers want to increase plant-based foods1

2. Comfort Foods

Dairy is a natural ingredient in comfort foods and our dairy concentrates allow food formulators to dial up flavor and improve function in these consumer favorites.

Moving into the second year of the pandemic, comfort foods continue to be popular among consumers. Dairy is a natural ingredient in comfort foods and our dairy concentrates allow food formulators to dial up flavor and improve function in these consumer favorites.

What are concentrated pastes? What benefits can concentrated pastes provide to these trends?

Our concentrated pastes are made from real, quality dairy ingredients. They are available in a variety of dairy flavor profiles and flavor strengths: Bold, Bolder, Boldest.

Through product consistency and great flavor retention, dairy concentrates work well in a variety of end-use-categories such as meals (side dishes, soups, dips), snacking applications, dessert applications and beverages.

Dairy Concentrates work well in meals, delivering ease of use with freeze/ thaw stability and driving the richness of desired traits such as a mouthfeel for sauces — creaminess, full-bodied balance and rounded flavor.

They can be used within snacking bases (dough of crackers, pita chips, etc.) to create a very specific flavor profile or flavor intensity. These can be further enhanced with additional topical seasonings for a combined flavor profile.

Concentrates also work within an extruded snack product or dessert — for example, the cheese filling of a pretzel or an extruded dessert filling.

For beverage applications, yogurt concentrates are often utilized to provide flavor, functionality and various nutritional benefits. Coffee solutions frequently use concentrates since they work well in aseptic or retort bottles.


People are interested in global foods and flavors, but they may not always want to jump in with a large meal. What globally inspired concentrates and/or seasonings does DFA Ingredient Solutions offer to help food manufacturers meet this trend?

Concentrates can be easily formulated into ethnic solutions. For example, we offer Mexican Cheese Concentrate (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, Queso Blanco) and Gouda. Plus, our Hispanic-Style Cheeses are ideal for dips, sauces and frozen appetizers.

For seasonings, we offer Korean BBQ, Four Pepper Queso, New Mexico Hatch Chile, Tandorri Ranch, Wasabi Ranch, Cream Cheese Limone, Nacho Picosso just to name a few. These can be used as topical seasonings on chips and fried appetizers or mixed in with dressings, crema and sauces.

How do you see DFA Ingredient Solution concentrates playing a role in the elevated comfort food trend?

Comfort foods all tend to be rich, but consumers still want the healthiest version of those. Plus, they’re seeking foods with no preservatives, artificial colors, emulsification salts, etc. dairy concentrates offer food manufacturers the benefit of a solution that delivers the desired flavor and function for comfort food product formulations with a clean label from dairy as the source.

What retail products do you see making a strong impact this year? How can DFA Ingredient Solution products support those products?

We’re seeing significant continued growth in frozen foods. In fact, they had the highest increase versus the pre-pandemic normal of 2019 at +23.0%. Frozen foods allow for flexibility when it comes to dining at home but while also provide areas for “splurging” when necessary.

2021 brought $691 billion in food and beverage sales — up 1.8% over 2020 and 15.8% over the 2019 pre-pandemic normal.2

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