Our annual report card grades the various categories of dairy foods and beverages. None fail, but clearly, product developers need to bone up on chemistry to develop exciting new products. Remedial work in marketing principles will help convey dairy’s nutritional benefits.
Nobody puts butter in a corner. Not anymore. Long shunted to the dietary sidelines because of its saturated-fat content and high caloric value, butter is undergoing a renaissance. You can thank fine-dining (see related article) and a renewed interest in cooking at home for that.
Ice cream is marketed to consumers as a “fun” food, but the industry sees little to enjoy. Sales of ice cream, novelties, and sherbets have declined. Frozen yogurt, on the other hand, is the category star.
Ice cream is a price-driven food with little brand loyalty. Sure, consumers say they have their favorite flavors and brands, but when that moment of truth arrives and it’s time to grab a carton from the freezer, price beats brand. The best-selling national brand is “private label.” And the sad truth of it is, Americans are buying less ice cream.
Adding to its line of liqueurs, White Plains, N.Y.-based Adult Beverage Co. announced a strawberry flavor addition to its alcohol-infused milk. The ready-to-drink Adult Strawberry Milk combines strawberries, cream and vodka, and doesn’t require refrigeration. The suggested retail price for a 750-milliliter bottle is $17.99.
Grassland Dairy, Greenwood, Wis., offers organic butter for the foodservice industry and for retail. The butter comes in cases of 18 one-pound unsalted solids and 25 kilograms of salted and unsalted bulk. It is QAI-certified organic and kosher-certified. The suggested retail price is $2 to $3 per pound.
The C’s are customers, communications and cheese. The Exporter of the Year builds and maintains strong connections with customers throughout the world. The company accounts for at least 10% of all U.S. cheese exports.
This year’s recipient of the Tom Camerlo Exporter of the Year award from Dairy Foods stands out from the competition in one major way: fewer frequent flyer miles. At least, fewer miles traveled between its export markets and headquarters. After all, when you’ve already got personnel stationed in those markets, there’s no need to visit as often — your company already lives there.
After 16 months of steady price declines, the global dairy markets are on the rise again. The world’s appetite for dairy products hasn’t abated, while a slowdown in milk production growth in the United States and Europe this summer has put a squeeze on the international market. Supplies are expected to be snug well into 2013, pointing to continued strong prices ahead.
In 2009, tainted peanuts from Peanut Corp. of America also affected dairy processors.
October 11, 2012
Dean Foods Co. is the latest ice cream maker to recall varieties made with peanut butter. Other dairy processors that have issued voluntary recalls include Oregon Ice Cream, Clemmys, Belfonte, Smith Dairy, BGC Manufacturing, Toft Dairy, Talenti Gelato, and Rich Products Corp.
How’s the dairy foods business? Which one? If you sell natural cheese or Greek yogurt, then the answer is: Great. If you bottle milk or package ice cream, then the answer might be: Things could be better.
One trend is interactive foods, as when users stir inclusions into yogurts or swirl colors into new combinations. Other trends (like clean labels) can have a domino effect on formulations. Eliminating sugar, for example, has a direct bearing on texture.
November 18, 2012
The national effort to turn around the obesity epidemic is steering children away from soft drinks and back to milk-based beverages. The popularity of Greek yogurt has given a shot in the arm to the cultured dairy category. Natural cheese is chic, as tastings and artisanal offerings take off. Ice cream processors welcome the flavor innovators.