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Navigating the Global Dairy Landscape: Insights from Krysta Harden, CEO of the US Dairy Export Council

World 13.11.2023
Source: The DairyNews
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In an interview with Krysta Harden, the President and CEO of the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC): we explore the evolving dynamics of the dairy industry, with a focus on the rise of alternative dairy products and the global impact of precision fermentation.
Navigating the Global Dairy Landscape: Insights from Krysta Harden, CEO of the US Dairy Export Council

Global Trends in Dairy Alternatives

Alt-dairy innovation has surged to new heights in North America, Western Europe, and Australasia, where non-dairy alternatives accounted for over half of all "dairy" launches in 2022, as reported by Innova Market Insights. A milk renaissance is underway in these regions, witnessing a shift towards plant-based alternatives at the breakfast table and the promise of a sustainable future for cheese and ice cream through precision fermentation.

However, it's important to note that the buzz around alternative dairy is not a universal phenomenon, primarily remaining localized to developed economies with higher purchasing power.

Dairy Consumption Dynamics in the US

While dairy consumption in the US is stabilizing, it continues to play a crucial role in lower-income areas. Recognized for its versatility, affordability, and shelf-stability, dairy serves as a valuable and accessible food source, especially in challenging economic climates. The interview delves into the significance of dairy ingredients in addressing malnutrition, providing essential protein, and serving as a base for fortifiers.

The Role of Precision Fermentation

Krysta Harden shares insights into the impact of precision fermented or cell-based dairy products. While these products currently cater to higher-income markets, their potential for broader accessibility and affordability is a subject of ongoing exploration. The discussion addresses the challenges related to transportation, refrigeration, and availability in rural areas, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive perspective on global food supply chains.

USDEC's Global Market Expansion

With a focus on exports, the USDEC aims to leverage its productivity and explore new markets worldwide. Offices in 10 locations facilitate engagement with local communities, governments, and consumers to understand market trends and drive growth. The interview highlights the organization's commitment to ensuring a demand for dairy globally, emphasizing its role as a healthy and nutritious product accessible to diverse populations.

Addressing Challenges in Africa

Looking ahead, the USDEC is eyeing long-term investments in parts of Africa with large populations but limited dairy production. The interview acknowledges challenges such as lactose intolerance in some regions and emphasizes the industry's responsibility to be flexible, offering a variety of products that align with cultural and health preferences.

In conclusion, the interview provides a comprehensive overview of the evolving dairy landscape, from the surge in alternative products to the global expansion strategies of the US Dairy Export Council. Krysta Harden's insights shed light on the intricate balance between consumer choices, market dynamics, and the industry's commitment to providing accessible and nutritious dairy options worldwide.

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