Moooove over dairy products of the past. From yogurt and ice cream to cheese and milk, some costumed crusaders are charging through the dairy aisles, bringing exotic flavors, better-for-you flavor profiles and the message that any time is dairy time.

The power of yogurt

In the movie Spaceballs, the character Yogurt held all the powers. In reality, so do the yogurt offerings on today’s grocers’ refrigerated shelves.

For instance, Miami-based Powerful Yogurt launched what is said to be the first Greek yogurt in the United States designed specifically for men with 20-25 grams of natural protein per serving and a “man-sized” 8-ounce cup that is at least 33% larger than most individual-serving Greek yogurts.

If Nathan Carey of Santa Barbara, Calif., hadn’t broken his arm while lifting weights a few years ago, he might never have come up with the idea to produce a frozen yogurt treat loaded with protein and flavor. Enter ProYo Frozen Yogurt, where each 4-ounce squeeze tube contains 20 grams of milk protein, live active probiotic cultures, added fiber and only 160 calories. 

Stonyfield, Londonderry, N.H., shook things up in the yogurt aisle with its first drinkable yogurt designed just for kids. YoKids Smoothies are made with real organic fruit and vegetable purées, available in Strawbana—organic carrot, strawberry, banana and yogurt— and Very Berry—organic sweet potato, raspberry, strawberry and yogurt—flavors. 

Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc., expanded its Yoplait brand to better target its tween consumers. New Yoplait Pro-Force is a Greek yogurt that contains two times the protein of the leading kids’ yogurt, according to the company, and comes in Strawberry Blast and Mixed Berry Burst flavors.

G.S. Gelato, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., now offers artisan frozen yogurt under its Yogurtiamo line, voted No. 2 in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ Top 5 Readers’ Choice Best New Products.

J&J Snack Foods, Pennsauken, N.J., introduced Whole Fruit Sorbet and Greek Frozen Yogurt, a perfectly swirled pairing of sorbet and Greek frozen yogurt. This low-fat, probiotic-packed, 100-calorie snack offers 4 grams of protein per serving and is a good source of calcium and vitamin A. It comes in Raspberry, Strawberry and Mango flavors in 4-packs of 4-ounce cups.

Ice cream gets a bit wild

There’s nothing plain about the latest ice cream flavors hitting store shelves.

For example, Mooresville Ice Cream Co., LLC, the Mooresville, N.C., maker of Front Porch Carolina Churned Ice Cream, released four new flavors to its Southern-inspired ice cream line—County Fair Fried Apple Pie, Happily Pineapply Upside Down Cake, My-O-My Peanut Butter Pie and Wildly Wildberry Cheesecake.

Blue Bell Creameries, Brenham, Texas, launched a lemon-flavored ice cream blended with vanilla sandwich cookies.

Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tillamook, Ore., introduced two new ice cream flavors. Fireside S’mores features high-quality chocolate ice cream with a blend of toasted marshmallow swirl and graham cracker, while White Chocolate Raspberry Yum entails a creamy white chocolate flavor with a ripe Northwest red raspberry swirl and a white chocolate base.

And, Thrive Frozen Nutrition developed a sweet solution to healthy eating. Thrive Premium Ice Cream is a specially formulatedice cream-like product that contains at least 9 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, four different strains of probiotics and 25% of the daily recommended amounts of 24 vitamins and minerals. 

Sharp, bold and dairy-free

Thanks to some super ingredients, the cheese category continues to slice and shred its way to the top with innovative sharp, bold and dairy-free options.

For instance, New York-based Tofutti Brands launched a dairy-free mozzarella cheese, ideal as a pizza topping for lactose-intolerant consumers.

Galaxy Nutritional Foods, New Kingstown, R.I., introduced Go Veggie! dairy-free vegan cheese and cream cheese. The shredded cheese comes in Cheddar, Cheddar and Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack and Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan and Romano and Mozzarella kinds, while the cream cheese comes in Chive and Garlic and Classic Plain.

HP Hood, LLC, Lynnfield, Mass., expanded its Heluva Good! brand to include Heluva Good! BOLD, a new line of naturally-aged cheeses. Heluva Good! BOLD comes in Chipotle Cheddar (a smoky, sharp cheddar cheese taste), Habañero Jack (a smooth, creamy jack cheese with a habañero spice) and Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, which is aged for 15-plus months for a seriously sharp flavor.

Likewise, Chicago-based Bel Brands USA launched a new Mozzarella variety to its Mini Babybel brand of portioned snacking cheeses.

Chicago-based Dutch Farms launched a new Deli Reserve cheese line, providing shoppers with authentic “delicatessen-styled” cheeses for restaurant-quality sandwiches made at home. Deli Reserve shingle packs are sold in 8-ounce “grab-and-go” durable, re-closable deli packages. Shoppers can choose from Gouda, Provolone, Baby Swiss, NY X-Sharp, Deluxe American and Muenster. Meanwhile, the Deli Reserve bulk cheese (available in loaves and horns) is sold behind the deli counter and sliced to order. It comes inMuenster, Brick, Colby, Pepper Jack, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella and Provolone.

Also new to the dairy aisle…

St. Louis-based Prairie Farms Dairy added a lactose-free Vanilla Almond Milk option to its lineup of high-quality dairy products. This milk is real milk, just without the lactose—it’s fat free, ultra-pasteurized, comes from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones and contains the same nine essential nutrients as regular milk along with a hint of vanilla and almond flavors and only 80 calories per 1-cup serving. Plus, more than 80% of the half-gallon carton is made from paper, from trees grown in responsibly managed forests.

Franklin Foods, Delray Beach, Fla., developed what is said to be the industry’s first Greek cream cheese. Sold under the Green Mountain Farms brand, this cream cheese is made with a combination of premium cream cheese and Greek yogurt, and is produced with farm-fresh milk and cream. Plus, it delivers twice the protein and 50% less fat than regular cream cheese.

ConAgra Foods’ Egg Beaters portfolio put a twist to a classic breakfast option with Three Cheese, a combination of eggs and cheese. Made with real Swiss, cheddar and provolone cheeses and all-natural egg whites, each serving boasts 4 grams of lean protein for just 25 calories—less than half the calories of a shelled egg.

Responding to the increasing consumer trend of incorporating sea salt into food, Country Fresh, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based unit of Dean Foods, introduced what is said to be the first cottage cheese made with sea salt. This cottage cheese is produced exclusively from the milk of Michigan cows and has 1/3 less sodium than traditional cottage cheese.

Regardless of the superpower, today’s new dairy products pack protein, flavor and innovation.

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