Dairy foods are always popular items at home, in restaurants and in schools. Now more than ever, we seem to be eating dairy outside of mealtime, snacking more on cheese, yogurt and milk. New, smaller packaging unveiled each year makes this new habit easier and more fun.

Convenience will always be king

Adding milk to your morning cup of coffee just got a lot more convenient, especially when that cup isn’t served at home. Made with the airline industry in mind, the new Milk in a Stick package from Lakeland Dairies is ideal for the transportation industry as it is efficient and sanitary for passenger service needs.

IMA Dairy & Food USA (formerly OYSTAR USA; imadairyfood.com) helped Lakeland Dairies develop the new option to complement hot beverages. The new packages are currently being produced at Lakeland Dairy’s Ireland facility on an IMA Hassia SAS 20/30 Aseptic Pouch Form-Fill-Seal machine.

When compared to the mini cup, the traditional inflight option, the stick pack touts some impressive benefits. Stick packs help save crucial inflight weight by weighing up to 45% less than the cups, and because the sticks are up to 50% less bulky, they also require less storage space and produce less on-board waste.

Milk in a Stick is also easy-to-open, has contemporary styling, and uses strong, flexible materials. Because of the stick’s long shape, the packaging format allows for more branding and graphics than the traditional mini cup.

More sizes for more options

Another new milk package makes it a lot easier to pack milk for the kids in their school lunches because of its small size.  The carton pack combiblocXSlim from SIG Combibloc (sig.biz) is available in volumes of 80, 90, 100, 110, 125, 150 and 180ml and is shaping up to be a best-seller. In Asia, the US and Africa, the carton pack has been very well-received. And now the smallest possible volume size of 80ml is also on the market for the first time in Indonesia.

The small carton packs can be used to fill milk and dairy products, as well as non-carbonated soft drinks. They can be provided with 6- and 8mm straw holes.

In the US, Steuben Foods has opted for combiblocXSlim, underlining its claim to provide the market with innovations that offer the sector genuine added value.

“Innovations are a big part of our corporate culture. Thanks to the new high-performance filling machine from SIG Combibloc, we’re in a position to considerably expand our product portfolio. And as a manufacturer, we can also let our customers from the beverage industry share in the new opportunities. With its unique size range this new packaging format allows brands to reach different demographic target groups, expand their footprint to new parts of the stores, and succeed where other packaging formats fall short. So for us, this packaging innovation from SIG Combibloc is a great move. The small carton packs offer big opportunities. combiblocXSlim makes it possible to adjust product quantities precisely to customers’ needs, and respond flexibly to the requirements of the market,” says Jeffrey Sokal, senior vice president at Steuben.

According to SIG Combibloc, in North America, aseptic carton packs are becoming increasingly important in certain segments. More and more consumers, food manufacturers and retailers are opting for carton packs – particularly in the plant-based milk substitutes sector, but also for stocks, soups and sauces. The advantages of a carton pack include first and foremost its convenience, its product protection qualities and its good environmental characteristics.

By now cheese snacks are a tried and true dairy offering. Jarlsberg® Cheese is capitalizing on this trend by offering an additional option to their Cheese Minis line.  Following on the heels of the tremendous success of Jarlsberg Cheese Minis, Jarlsberg Lite Cheese Minis offer a lower calorie snacking option for the whole family, in the same convenient, on-the-go package. The mini cheeses are individually portioned and are only 50 calories each. Jarlsberg Cheese Minis are sold in 5-count packages or individually, for even easier, grab and go snacking.

One yogurt company is adding a new, smaller size for easier snacking. Noosa Finest Yoghurt has launched new 4-ounce, 4-pack sizes of its blueberry and tart cherry flavors. The company says the packs “answer the call” for smaller grab-and-go containers (the company’s original size is sold in 8- and 16-ounce containers). The multi-pack package is available nationwide at grocery, natural and specialty retailers.

Single-serve, portable and convenient are the buzz words in today’s dairy culture as new packages emerge to satisfy these consumer desires. The market is expanding as package sizes are decreasing; proving that in this market, less is more.