2007 Processor of the Year
For leading the way in developing new frozen dessert processing technology, creating and maintaining a nationwide manufacturing and distribution infrastructure, developing innovative new products and contributing to the value and prestige of the U.S. ice cream industry, Dairy Field has selected Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream as its 2007 Processor of the Year.
Criteria for the honor include industry leadership, business initiatives, marketing achievements, technological advances and relations with employees, suppliers and the community.
As the top ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturer in the United States, Dreyer’s maintains a strong leadership role in its segment. The company’s development of “Slow Churned” technology — a proprietary process that makes reduced-fat ice cream with the taste and texture of the full-fat product — revolutionized the business and set a new standard for better-for-you ice cream products. Its Dibs bite-sized ice cream snacks helped give frozen desserts a competitive edge against more traditional portable snacks like chips and pretzels.
In the realm of manufacturing, Dreyer’s has built two of the world’s largest ice cream plants — in Bakersfield, Calif., and Laurel, Md. — among its six factories across the United States.
The company’s participation with pop culture icons like the Food Network and “American Idol” demonstrates its marketing efforts are keeping up with changing times, ensuring that Dreyer’s products will remain relevant to an evolving consumer base.
“We’re honored,” says Tim Kahn, who will take the reins as chief executive officer in January. “We’re thrilled. We’ve got a long history and we’re proud of the company. But it’s one thing to feel proud; it’s another thing when someone outside recognizes you. It’s great for our people — it’s a great tribute.”
When retiring CEO Gary Rogers and Rick Cronk bought Dreyer’s in 1977, the company employed fewer than 100 people, Kahn notes. “When I joined the company, almost 10 years ago, we had maybe three or four thousand. Right now, we’re pushing 8,000. So it’s just really terrific for me when people outside recognize the people who are all contributing.”
DF will present its 2007 Processor of the Year Award to Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream at the 2008 Dairy Forum in La Quinta, Calif., in January.