Anuga trade show
In October, 6,500 food and beverage exhibitors, representing 100 countries, set up shop at Anuga, the biennial trade show in Cologne, Germany.

Ethnic dairy foods are emerging into the mainstream. Processors exhibiting at the German tradeshow Anuga Oct. 8-12 sampled their new products, including those with appeal to consumers from southwest Asia and central Europe. For example:

Canada’s Punjab Milk Foods Inc. presented its ready-to-eat rasmalai(or ras malai), a traditional Indian and Pakistani dairy-based dessert consisting of individual balls of paneer, a soft, fresh cheese sitting in a flavored clotted cream. Punjab Milk Foods was a winner in Anuga’s taste11 awards program. Its refrigerated product comes in two traditional flavors — pistachio and saffron — with sugar-free options available. Each 1-kilogram package (2.2 pounds) contains a dozen balls.

Another taste11 award recipient was Lightfood OŰ from Estonia, which was recognized for its sour milk drink called Dietan. This slightly carbonated drink, also known as tan, is a less viscous version of kefir and is rich in probiotic bacteria. It is usually consumed plain, but if flavored, it will not contain added sugars. Tan has been consumed throughout the Caucasus mountain region since ancient times. Only in the past decade has it been commercially produced, with distribution primarily in Russia. A number of processors are now making it available for international markets. 

Germany’s Probiotan GmbH sampled its line of tan beverages. The company produces the drinks in a variety of flavors, including banana, carrot, cherry, dill and strawberry. The fruit and vegetable varieties contain pureé or concentrate for natural sweetness.

Van der Poel Desserts Hengelo BV from the Netherlands was recognized by taste11 judges for its new dual pack of ice cream and cherry sauce sold under the Ambach brand. Consumers are instructed to warm the sauce in a microwave oven or on a stove top and pour it over the ice cream for a traditional Dutch dessert.


U.S. processors among the exhibitors

More than 155,000 buyers representing 180 countries attended Anuga, a five-day fair held in Cologne, Germany. About 150 U.S. exhibitors, showing in five product-specific USA Pavilions, were among the more than 6,500 food and beverage exhibitors who came from 100 countries. The dairy foods category was well represented, particularly in cheese, cultured dairy and frozen dairy, as these products offer the best opportunity for export.

More than 500 companies entered more than 1,200 innovations in the taste11 competition. Judges selected 54 new products, representing all 10 of the fair’s specialized halls (bread and bakery, hot beverages, chilled and fresh foods, dairy, drinks, fine food, foodservice, frozen food, meat, organic and RetailTec). In addition to evaluating the quality and originality of the entries, the jury also considered packaging, user-friendliness, the recipe and visual appeal.

Italy was designated a partner country and nearly 1,100 of that nation’s companies exhibited. Taste11 winner Pezzetta s.r.l. showed Formadi Frant, a mild, soft cheese with some of the savory and spicy nuances typical of an aged cheese. The contrast is made by mixing a variety of grated cheeses, all from Italy’s Friuli region, with salt, pepper and sour cream. The resulting soft cheese is aged until it becomes slightly firm. Luigi Guffanti 1876 s.r.l. received a taste11 award for its Formaggio 1/3 Birra, a whole cows milk cheese made with beer. The processor mixes beer made by Brewer Un Terzo directly into the whey during cooking, which lends the cheese its fine aroma and beer flavor.

German dairy makes a splash

The dairy hall featured 365 exhibitors. One German company — DMK Deutsches Milchkontor—  used the fair as a platform to demonstrate its new position as an international leader. The company was formed in May 2011 through the merging of Nordmilch with Humana Milchunion. With forecasted annual revenues of about 4 billion Euros (about $5.5 billion), DMK instantly became one of the Top 20 dairy companies in the world.

“We are using Anuga to give the first ever overall view of our concentrated product, assortment and packaging competence. The development of new markets outside Germany, outside Europe, is one of the pillars of our corporate strategy and an important lever to increase sales volume and revenue,” says Rolf Janshen, DMK’s managing director of sales.

The company recognizes growth opportunities for exporting select fresh dairy products and cheeses to retail and wholesale business and to work in collaboration with food manufacturing industries in other countries on future developments. A top priority for DMK is to educate and safeguard the “made in Germany” tagline. 

A number of other German dairies debuted an array of dairy innovations, also emphasizing their export capabilities. For example, family-owned Ehrmann AG generates almost half of its total turnover of 650 million Euros ($896 million) outside of Germany. Its Russian subsidiary has become Russia’s third-largest yogurt producer, and specifically from its Moscow location, Ehrmann delivers long shelf-life yogurts to destinations as far away as China. (See New Product Review, page 23, for one of its new products.)

J. Bauer GmbH & Co. KG used Anuga to emphasize its commitment to avoiding genetic engineering. Since April, J. Bauer has only been using milk from farms that do not use genetically modified animal feed. It developed its own “Without Gene Technology” quality seal.

Emmi Group, Switzerland’s largest milk processing company, also emphasized that it is setting its sights on the international market. With annual revenues of about 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion), about one-fourth come from outside Switzerland. The company also has a strong presence in the United States, with a cheese processing facility in Monroe, Wis., and a fluid milk and yogurt plant in Penn Yan, N.Y. Products include Swiss-made foods, such as Kaltbach cave-aged cheese, as well as domestically reproduced versions of Swiss innovations such as Swiss Premium yogurt and Caffe Latte. Emmi debuted a four-pack of this convenience coffee-milk beverage, which has the Rainforest Alliance seal of approval because Emmi committed to using only coffee beans from sustainable producers.

Anuga is staged every two years. The next edition is Oct. 5-9, 2013.

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— By Product Development Editor
Donna Berry, who attended Anuga.