New ideas in any industry often come from entrepreneurs-little guys with little more than a dream and (maybe) a business plan. Sometimes it’s a small start up company flying under the radar screen. Too often the big companies at the top of the heap seem unwieldy and out of touch. But when it comes to yogurt, they don’t come any bigger or much more innovative than Dannon.

In our Dairy Field Reports section this month, Jim Dudlicek checks in with Dannon’s executive team, reviews the latest product portfolio and takes you on a tour of the invigorated Minster, Ohio plant.

This is the sixth issue of Dairy Foods since the merger of the dairy processing industry’s top two trade magazines. Where did the half-year go? 

We’re pretty pleased with the results, and hope you are too, but we’ll get deeper into that subject later this year, I‘m sure. For now, suffice to say that we are thrilled to be delivering a jam-packed magazine to you every month. The month of June is certainly no exception.

This month’s cover story is the annual Packaging Outlook and Showcase.  The dairy category continues to evolve and as always packaging plays a starring role.  As is often the case, what goes around comes around. Aseptic packaging, which was a big story more than a decade ago and has taken on new importance in the new millennium as well, is now becoming an important part of the growing organic milk sub-segment.

Speaking of organic, this issue also includes our third annual Organic and Natural Outlook, which takes stock of the growth and the growing pains surrounding these special dairy products.  In our new Insider Perspective space, Caren Wilcox of the Organic Trade Association weighs in on the issue of state’s efforts to limit communications regarding the use of r-BST.

In the product development arena, Donna Berry does some thinking outside of the box with regards to inclusions, and fruit drinks. We also have a preview of IFT, with booth suggestions, and from our expert contributors at the American Dairy Council, a nutrition article on the latest science on dairy fats.

Elsewhere you will find a preview of the July American Cheese Society Conference and Competition, Dairy Market Trends on iced tea and iced coffee, and our New Product Review with a focus on frozen novelties.

Innovation does indeed come from the entrepreneurs, and in our Farm to Fork section you can meet one of those in Willi Lehner, a Wisconsin cheesemaker with generations of accumulated knowledge. Since 2002 he has been winning awards and turning heads with aged artisan cheeses that honor age-old traditions, while breaking new ground. At Lehner’s Bleu Mont Dairy, we take a look at the beautiful new 1,600 sq. ft. aging cave. 

On a sad note, the dairy industry lost one of its innovators and leaders recently with the passing of Jim Page of the American Dairy Products Institute, who had been fighting cancer in recent years. An obituary from Donna Berry can be found in our Inside the News section.