Human beings are said to be creatures of habit. However, when we consider the current changes in society, the old proverb definitely seems questionable. Almost every area of our lives is changing rapidly at the moment, including our diet.

In 2019, the DMK Group set out its plan to address this development – the 2030 Strategy. Although it is impossible to imagine a Germany without milk and the foods produced from milk on the menu, nevertheless clear changes in dietary habits are emerging which will have far-reaching consequences for us as a company. We will only truly live up to our aspiration of supplying our customers with high-quality foods which fit their nutritional habits all through their lives if we respond to these long-term trends and continuously develop further.

So let us take a look at how the DMK Group is addressing the dietary transformation, and what we have done in 2021 to master this task.

The market

We are helping to shape the future.

Consumer behaviour is changing forever.

The coronavirus pandemic was like a catalyst for dietary trends, and it took us all back to closer contact with our nutrition. We thought more than ever about what we eat (and why) and adapted our shopping behaviour accordingly. Holistically responsible consumption is therefore developing from a lifestyle to a social movement.

The standards set for foods are correspondingly high. More and more consumers are shopping with consideration for sustainability aspects such as regional production, animal welfare, climate protection and the use of fairly traded ingredients. It shows in the choice of foods which ultimately land in their shopping basket. Young people in particular are increasingly reaching for non-dairy products such as oat drinks or soy yoghurts, as demonstrated by the Food Report by trend researcher Hanni Rützler . The forecasts therefore reckon with growth of 102% by 2025 for this market segment.

“As dairy company, we will find it more and more important in the future to look exactly at where our products are in demand and provide a tailored service to these markets and segments.”

Dr. Frank Claassen, CFO

The future needs new ideas.

These and other developments in consumer behaviour were discussed at the DMK Trend Summit 2021. From 8 to 17 September 2021, trend researcher Hanni Rützler, agricultural scientist Professor Nick Lin-Hi, Malte Lorenz of Venture Builder and the Hungry Ventures consultancy, Tobias Basse, analyst with Nord LB, and other experts debated on their observations and theses for the future of our food system. At this special event, the team of experts scrutinised changing consumer behaviour, which is attributable to the ongoing change in society’s values. They also addressed the growing challenges of a global supply chain. Our existing food system is reaching its limits, as the grounding of the container ship Ever Given in 2021 clearly showed. The consequences of this event reverberated in world trade long afterwards, and it will definitely not be the last of its kind.

This is one of the reasons why companies like the DMK Group have to change their way of thinking and prove their innovativeness. New ideas are needed to enable us to deal with current and future changes. However, the DMK Group is well positioned here with its 2030 Strategy, and we were able to make significant progress in 2021.