Dairy Management Inc.’s (DMI) Global Innovation Partnership Team and the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center (MDFRC) worked together to develop a first-of-its-kind, shelf-stable, dairy-based creamer for Taco Bell.
MDFRC’s application lab provided the opportunity for this research to take place, and Sonia Patel, applications lab scientist at the University of Minnesota, assisted with the process from start to finish by developing product formulations and conducting microbial and shelf-life studies to ensure Taco Bell’s product requirements were met.
In May 2020, the innovative creamer was a key ingredient in Taco Bell’s newest beverage: the Pineapple Whip Freeze. The beverage’s popularity proves the creamer a success and, according to Hoard’s Dairyman, helps Taco Bell elevate dairy from a garnish to a hero on its menu.
The clean label creamer has a superior taste profile, microbial quality, functionality and maintains stability in hot and cold beverages. Additionally, the creamer’s comparable nutritional profile allows it to serve as a replacement for commonly used non-dairy creamers which presents a strong opportunity for use in the food service sector.
Over the past decade, checkoff’s food service partnerships have grown by 2.2 billion milk pounds and experienced an average three-percent growth rate each year. Successful food service partnerships are made possible thanks to diligent research and innovation support, like that provided by the MDFRC.
The MDFRC is part of the National Dairy Foods Center Research program and receives funding from DMI and Midwest Dairy. Thanks to the MDFRC applications lab, this innovative product has opened the door to future applications and is bringing dairy to life in an exciting way for consumers.