The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by health and wellness, and convenience, and the growing importance of plant-based/alternative proteins, food safety and transparency, and personalized nutrition. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Milk processing techniques. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and safety injection needles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Wet wipes dispenser, carbon fibre sports equipment, and cigarette rod making device are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are portable toothbrush cases and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry
Milk processing techniques is a key innovation area in consumer
In order to increase the shelf life of milk, various preservation techniques are used. Some of the commonly used methods include sterilisation, pasteurisation, and ultra high temperature treatment.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of milk processing techniques.
Key players in milk processing techniques – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to milk processing techniques
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Valio||254||Unlock Company Profile|
|DMK Deutsches Milchkontor||103||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arla Foods amba||96||Unlock Company Profile|
|Danone||94||Unlock Company Profile|
|Coca-Cola||85||Unlock Company Profile|
|JDE Peet's||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nestle||47||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fonterra Co-operative Group||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|COFCO||35||Unlock Company Profile|
|Abbott Laboratories||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kraft Heinz||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sodiaal International.||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|TINE||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zuivelcooperatie FrieslandCampina UA||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Morinaga Milk Industry||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chr. Hansen Holding||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Agritechnology||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bright Dairy & Food||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Select Milk Producers||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Sanyuan Foods||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alfasigma||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Land O'Lakes||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Grupo LALA SAB de CV||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Granarolo||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Glanbia plc||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Idaho Milk Products||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|GEA Group||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mondelez International||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Meiji Holdings||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Feihe||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tetra Laval International||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dairy Management||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tamarack Biotics||5||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Valio is one of the leading patent filers in milk processing techniques. Some other key patent filers in the space are DMK Deutsches Milchkontor, Arla Foods, and Danone. Recently, Arla Foods started a new dairy plant in Germany to address the global milk powder demand. Producing long-shelf-life milk powder is one of the primary objectives of setting up the new plant.
In terms of application diversity, Nestle leads the pack. Abbott Laboratories and Reckitt Benckiser Group stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sodiaal International held the top position, followed by Morinaga Milk Industry and Abbott Laboratories.
Milk processing techniques will potentially gain greater importance with manufacturers looking to increase the shelf life of milk products as well as from a safety point of view.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.