Tom Imbordino

A year ago at this time, Americans learned that they had been in a recession for about a year – not that they needed any convincing. Now, some financial pundits are saying that recession is over, perhaps since the second quarter – not that many folks are comforted by that news yet.

So what does that mean for the dairy industry? Are we poised for a brighter future, or are we just another day older and deeper in debt? The former seems to be true, at least if you’re a dairy processor.

Overall, dairy manufacturers handled well the economically driven shifts in consumption, shoring up slips in foodservice business with value-driven products aimed at folks who cut back on eating out and hunkered down at home. The cheese not being eaten on restaurant pizzas is being consumed on frozen pies bought en masse at club stores, or as ingredients for other homemade dishes.

Despite its big nutritional bang for the buck, fluid milk continues to struggle saleswise, even at record low prices, and new attacks on flavored milk as a school staple threaten this lucrative business. But other dairy foods like cheese and yogurt made modest gains in the past year, with predictions of even better growth over the next three years.

Emboldened by the prospects of overseas markets before the downturn, processors are looking again at the promises of new opportunities in exporting. The global market is expected to show a strong appetite for U.S. dairy products.

In Washington, the industry is looking to lawmakers with trepidation over whether dairy policy will finally be substantively reformed to accurately reflect contemporary business and product development practices. So far, we’ve only seen emergency payments to farmers instead of a real change to a system that arguably helped keep dairymen stuck in a quagmire where production costs outstripped their milk checks.

Meanwhile, we’ve completed our second full year of momentous change at Dairy Foods since the introduction of Dairy Field Reports. The results and the response continue to be beyond our expectations. The combination of Dairy Foods’ marketing, product development and formulation coverage, and Dairy Field Reports’ operations, logistics and food safety focus, continues to deliver the most complete media package serving the dairy processing industry.

And speaking of food safety, this month we’re proud to introduce the first installment of our new column, Sayler on Safety. This quarterly feature, penned by IDFA food safety guru Allen Sayler, promises to deliver keen insight into arguably the most important issue facing food processors today.

Of course, we’re still delivering everything else you’ve come to expect – articles about sales and product trends, information about product development and processing technologies, and behind-the-scenes stories about dairy foods companies and the people that make them jewels of the industry.

Combined with – offering behind-the-scenes slideshows from plant visits, videos from supplier partners, news feeds and more – and Dairy Product Innovations, our monthly e-newsletter focused on new products and supplier news, Dairy Foods is a formidable and indispensible source of industry information. And now you can stay connected with us wherever you are on Facebook, Twitter and our Professional Network on LinkedIn.

More than ever, we provide you with information that helps you do well in your business. Each January, we present our Supplier Capabilities Spotlights, giving our advertisers a chance to tell you more about their companies and the products and services they provide. These companies are ready to partner with you to conquer today’s business challenges to achieve tomorrow’s business goals. 

We hope Dairy Foods continues to be your go-to guide for success in the dynamic world of dairy food manufacturing. We’re here, at your service. 

Tom Imbordino, publisher of Dairy Foods, can be reached at 773/755-8990 or