Safeway Inc. takes the mystery out of making ice cream. At its Bellevue, Wash., ice cream plant, silos, pasteurizers, stainless steel tubing, flavor vats, fillers and other equipment are all labeled as to their contents or function. There is even a label above a hand-crank pencil sharpener. That was put there either for the benefit of a younger generation raised on hand-held devices (instead of pencil and paper) or else it was an expression of an engineer’s sense of humor.
The supermarket chain embraces the concept that it is building brands, not just selling private-label foods and beverages.
October 12, 2012
Innovative marketing plus effective in-store merchandising and support of its private labels demonstrate that Safeway Inc. has made the leap from thinking about private label as merely a low-price alternative to have on its shelves to treating its private labels as CPG companies treat their brands. The result — private-label sales growth at Safeway is outpacing branded sales growth by a three-to-one margin.
Blue Bell, Brenham, Texas, added Gingerbread House to its holiday favorites ice cream line. This flavor features cinnamon ice cream, gingerbread pieces, colored sprinkles, miniature marshmallows with a vanilla icing swirl.
Based on the latest findings, it’s possible that consumers are passing up their local coffee and tea shops for the nearest grocery store because ready-to-drink coffee and tea sales are increasing.
Data provided by SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago, show that sales in the shelf-stable tea/coffee ready-to-drink category rose 3.2% to $1.6 billion in the 52 weeks ended July 8, 2012, with the unit sales also showing an increase of 5.1% to 747.7 million.
Dairy processors are reducing their use of water, energy, transportation and packaging. Here are 10 examples from the United States and abroad.
October 15, 2012
Dairy processors use a lot of water. Fresh water and wastewater can be a huge expense and a significant component of the utilities budget. The H2Oversight Service from U.S. Energy Services, Plymouth, Minn., offers rate tariff optimization, metering equipment confirmation, facility change monitoring, bypass opportunities and identification of operational savings.
Consumers want the foods they eat to be nutritious, affordable and good-tasting. Increasingly, consumers care about the environmental impact of their food, and want to know that the products they buy were produced in an environmentally responsible way.
Dairy Foods visits one cheesemaker’s green farmstead, explores another in the niche goat cheese market, and talks with a multinational, multiple-brand company seeing significant growth in the United States.
Chicago-based Bel Brands USA, makers of The Laughing Cow, Mini Babybel and Boursin cheese (among others) has become a rising star in the snacking and portable cheese category, having doubled its revenues in the last four years. Its Laughing Cow masterbrand (The Laughing Cow and Mini Babybel) is now America’s number one branded snacking cheese.
On Sept. 7, Aurora Organic Dairy, Boulder, Colo., said it reached an agreement to settle all claims in a class action lawsuit pending before the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
California Dairies Inc., Visalia, Calif., appointed David Treiber the senior vice president of fluid business development, reporting to Dave Bush, chief operating officer. Treiber will manage all fluid, condensed and cream sales. He comes from CDI subsidiary Challenge Dairy Products.
Kraft Foods partnered with Five Guys restaurants and hunger-relief agency Feeding America in a two-week-long nationwide program in September, designated Hunger Action Month. Kraft’s American Cheese brand donated a meal to Feeding America for every customer who visits Five Guys and checks in at KraftCheese.com/checkin using a mobile device. The cheesemaker is expected to donate 100,000 meals.
In recognition of the best merchandising efforts supporting the June Dairy Month/Ice Age: Continental Drift collaboration, NFRA awarded 24 Gold Penguin and 31 Silver Penguin awards. Gold-winning dairy processors are Sargento Foods, Plymouth, Wis., (for the Manufacturer Branded category) and Stremick’s Heritage Foods, Santa Ana, Calif., (Manufacturer Private Brand). Silver-award winners include HP Hood LLC, Hamburg, N.Y., and Kemps, LLC, Cedarburg, Wis., (Manufacturer Branded).
The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison received one of seven $1 million i6 Challenge grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support an effort to commercialize research ideas that will positively impact economic development.
Two organizations managed by Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont, Ill., seek entries to their contests. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, seeks entries to its U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards program. The Dairy Research Institute has issued a call for entries to its New Product Competition.
Sales of milk continue to decline, and traditional grocery stores are losing market share. Consumers increasingly are buying milk at club stores and dollar stores, according to an analysis by Prime Consulting Group, Bannockburn, Ill., for Milk Processor Education Program, or MilkPEP, Washington, D.C.
People need protein for survival as well as optimal health — that’s nothing new. However, recent research unveils that protein requirements may be higher than previously estimated. Also, preliminary research suggests that there is a maximum amount of dietary protein that the body can utilize at one time, leading some scientists to recommend consuming moderate amounts of protein at each meal.
During the past few years, pressure to manufacture good tasting low-fat and reduced-fat options for the foodservice and ingredient industries has grown. New limits and regulations have led to even greater pressure on the dairy industry to produce and manufacture such products. While we face some challenges, the dairy industry has already developed several solutions.
Chocolate and cocoa are long-time associates of dairy. These days, everything from frozen yogurt to blended coffee beverages is angling for a chocolaty profile. A panel of experts explains how to formulate with the ingredients.
We Americans have notoriously restless palates. This is especially so in today’s food-forward world, as chefs vie for celebrity status and the more adventuresome among us approach dining as an extreme sport. It’s now commonplace to find even familiar flavor favorites forced into some pretty unusual pairings, as the current practice with chocolate demonstrates.
Start with something healthy, and then make it better. That’s the basic recipe for creating a value-added milk-based beverage. Traditionally, the three largest and most active claims about dairy beverages regarded digestive/gut health, heart/cardiovascular health and bone health. But, in recent years, the market has seen many novel dairy beverages that tout energy, immune health, weight control, satiety, anti-aging, skin health, beauty, eye health, joint health, mental acuity and concentration.
Ishida’s DACS-G checkweigher provides two weight ranges for verifying the package weight or content count of a wide variety of products. Ishida’s latest digital high-output load cell stabilizes weights quickly for high-speed operation.
Bizerba’s XRE X-Ray inspection is designed to work in all environments, including dairy facilities. The XRE 10-inch color touchscreen and low-power small footprint design provides easy detection of metal, glass, stones, bones, Teflon and natural rubber.
RMT Robotics announced its new layer picking system using its patent-pending robotic layer picking tool. Using a combination of vacuum and clamping technology, the new tooling has the capability to pick corrugate or boxboard cases, shrink wrap products, bottles, tubs and open trays.
It sounds like an Olympics motto, but today’s equipment is faster, runs longer and achieves higher temperatures. Makers of pasteurizers and heat exchangers talk about equipment upgrades.
October 16, 2012
Designers of processing equipment recognize some of the economic realities of today. Energy is expensive, so equipment is more efficient. Real estate is expensive, so equipment takes up less space. Labor is expensive, so equipment runs more efficiently and reliably.
A-B-C Packaging introduced a palletizer with all-stainless steel sanitary construction for dairy plant installations. This palletizer runs dairy-style plastic trays and crates, plus regular slotted cheese and half slotted cheese cases for flexibility. It is designed for reliable and powerful load transfer with a mechanical row pusher bar with a dual chain drive. A counterweighted elevator table ensures stable container transfer and eliminates stress on the drive motor for longer motor life. Low-level construction provides the freedom of floor-level operation, and a clean, open profile ensures easy access. The color touchscreen operator panel shows real-time operating data.
Only 11 dairies in seven states are listed on the Interstate Milk Shippers list as participating in the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shippers’ hazard analysis and critical control points program.
October 17, 2012
Dairy operations, for the past several years, have been encouraged to adopt HACCP by their customers who believed that HACCP is an important part of total quality management.
Heat exchangers are key components in a dairy processing plant that can directly affect food product quality, a supplier tells Dairy Foods. Other suppliers tell us that pasteurizers are not all alike. To learn more about processing milk and the equipment that is used, we convened a “virtual roundtable” of equipment manufacturers. What follows are edited remarks received via e-mail.
Virginia Dare Extract Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., appointed Robert J. Verdias Business Director – Health & Wellness. He will be responsible for managing and developing the company’s health and wellness strategy and business.
Edlong Dairy Flavors, Elk Grove Village, Ill., added three new cheese flavors to its line of concentrated dairy flavors and high-intensity dairy ingredients. They are a nondairy natural Parmesan-type liquid, a nondairy Romano cheese powder and a natural Cheddar-type powder.