The Dairy Council of California has released its top 10 trends that will likely impact the dairy industry within the next one to three years.

The council produces updates on the industry twice annually, detailing trends and updates that may affect the industry in a positive or negative way.

The 10 trends identified and tracked by the council’s team are:

1. Milk and dairy foods look promising in the prevention of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

2. Dairy fat may no longer be a villain in heart disease risk, with research showing some saturated fatty acids are neutral or positive to heart health.

3. Protein continues to provide a multitude of benefits across ages and demand for protein from milk products is expected to grow.

4. Consumers demand personalization in many aspects of their lives from shopping to dining and social media can be a tool to reach them.

5. Challenges to milk consumption continue due to a litany of complex concerns that extend beyond price and include the environment, animal care, GMOs and diet claims. Transparency is important to build trust and meet consumers’ needs.

6. The role of the gut microbiome in health is advancing rapidly with an emphasis on the study of probiotics and how they can help with weight management, improve mood and reduce the incidence of colds and even some types of cancer.

7. Obesity is still a primary health concern, with efforts focused on helping children develop healthy eating patterns early on.

8. Consumers’ interest in natural, functional, fresh foods grows. In addition, products labeled as low calorie, lower sodium, no trans fats, gluten-free and GMO-free are appealing to health-savvy consumers.

9. Cognition and mental health are new areas of nutrition research and studies show low-fat dairy products as part of a regular diet may benefit the brain during aging.

10. Changes are occurring in the health care environment, which is extending beyond the doctor’s office to community settings such as drug and retail stores, health clinics, schools and worksites.

More details on the trends can be read here.