Three servings of dairy a day are recommended as part of the new federal dietary guidelines, released by the USDA shortly before press time. More details will follow next month.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a temporary permit to Le Mars, Iowa-based Wells’ Dairy Inc., to test market cottage cheese that deviates from the U.S. standard of identity for the product by using fluid ultrafiltered (UF) skim milk. The UF milk will be declared in the ingredient statement as “ultrafiltered skim milk.” The test product meets all other requirements of the standard. The temporary permit will allow the company to measure consumer acceptance and manufacturing concerns, and assess commercial feasibility.
In other Wells’ Dairy news, the company and Minneapolis-based Kemps LLC have settled a legal battle over the names of the companies’ nonfat yogurt products. A federal lawsuit claimed Kemps Light 80 yogurt infringed on the trademarked name for Wells’ nonfat yogurt, Lite 85. Wells’ also took issue with Kemps’ claim that its Light 80 was the lowest-calorie, 6-ounce product on the market.
The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) has invited the submission of nominees for its Award of Merit in 2005. The award was established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the dairy products industry in fields such as processed dairy products, equipment, technology and domestic and international marketing and/or product promotion. The winner of this year’s award will be honored at the 2005 Annual Conference of the American Dairy Products Institute and American Butter Institute, May 1 to 3 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. For more information, visit
Toronto-based CoolBrands International Inc. has announced plans to acquire Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc.’s yogurt business for about $59 million. The purchase, to be made by CoolBrands’ wholly owned subsidiary Integrated Brands Inc., includes the licensing for the Breyers, Crème Savers and Light ‘n Lively brands — products that had a combined 2004 net revenue of $90 million. The deal also includes Kraft’s yogurt processing facility in North Lawrence, N.Y. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005.
New York, N.Y.-based Lactalis American Group Inc. has acquired Merrill, Wis.-based Rondelé Specialty Foods. The Rondelé line of gourmet spreadable cheeses joins the Lactalis USA line of specialty cheeses, including President brie, camembert and feta. Lactalis USA is a subsidiary of France-based Groupe Lactalis. As the retail specialty cheese division of Lactalis American Group, Lactalis USA markets cheeses through its domestic and import divisions. The domestic division markets President-branded cheeses from the company’s Belmont, Wis., and Turlock, Calif., plants.
Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings Inc. Oakland, Calif., will triple the capacity of its Laurel, Md., frozen novelty processing facility with a $180 million expansion project that broke ground in November. Due for completion in 2007, the expansion will add nearly 600,000 square feet of production and warehouse space, 10 frozen snack production lines and two packaged ice cream lines. Also, a 200,000-square-foot ice cream warehouse will hold up to 23,000 pallets of ice cream and frozen snacks to serve the eastern half of the United States.
Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), Tillamook, Ore., has approved a $50 million expansion plan that will nearly triple the capacity of its Boardman, Ore., facility upon the project’s completion in 2006. The company plans to add 65,000 square feet to the existing 85,000-square-foot Columbia River Processing Inc. plant, which opened in 2001 and makes medium-sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, colby jack and mozzarella.
Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O’Lakes Inc., has announced that its president and chief executive officer, Jack Gherty, will retire from the company at the end of 2005. Gherty has contributed significantly to Land O’Lakes overall sales growth and guided the company through many profitable acquisitions.