Consumers love their cheese and are clear about what they want. It has to be easy to eat, portable, available in a variety of flavors and all-natural. These are the dominant themes from almost every cheese processor we spoke with. Convenience, flavor innovation, authenticity and freshness are key factors that will drive consumer cheese purchases, according to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Madison.
While yogurt is certainly still having its day, other cultured dairy products are seeing renewed interest. Consumers’ desires for variety in flavor and texture, clean ingredients and nutrient-dense snacks (like more protein or probiotics) are shining a spotlight on yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream-based dips.
In searching for signs of life in the fluid milk category, one can find a pulse. Sales of whole milk rose 4.1% from 2014 to 2015. Sales also increased for 1% milk (4.6%), whole flavored milk (6.4%), other flavored milk (1.3%) and buttermilk (5.2%). These segments represent opportunities for fluid milk processors.
Swiss Valley Farms, Davenport, Iowa, is the 2016 Tom Camerlo Exporter of the Year. The award goes to a dairy supplier that exemplifies leadership in advancing U.S. dairy exports, demonstrates commitment to export market development and makes exports an integral part of its overall growth strategy. It is presented by Dairy Foods and sponsored by the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlington, Va.
Owners and presidents of dairy processing firms have the highest job satisfaction, according to our exclusive survey. Employees are happiest with their immediate co-workers, but when it comes to the brass, not so much.