New dairy products, like cooking creams and seasoned butters, are causing grocers to re-think the dairy aisles. These foods do not fit neatly into established categories like fluid dairy products, butter or cheese.

Cooking cremeThe products include Kraft's Fresh Take (a cheese-and-breadcrumbs kit for flavoring proteins), Kraft's Philadelphia Cooking Crème (refrigerated cream-cheese-based sauces) and Saute Express (a flavored butter and olive oil) from Land O'Lakes.

Raquel Melo, director of innovation at Land O'Lakes, Arden Hills, Minn., talked about the development of Saute Express in a new episode of "All Things Dairy", Dairy Food's new podcast series. (Listen to it online or download for free from iTunes.)

Grocers are struggling with whether this food "belongs in the super-spread section" or in what some are calling "an emerging 'cooking with dairy' section," Melo said.

Grocers are looking at Saute Express and asking "is this the super-spreads category extending into more specific solutions or is this the emergence of new behavior, such as cooking with dairy and we have to start thinking of our retail dairy case differently." Melo added that retailers are seeing "some momentum around these emerging dairy-based cooking solutions and how should we be prepared to deal with that."

Land O'Lakes Saute Express Saute Starter

Land O'Lakes has four SKUs of Saute Express, which is designed to be used with fish, chicken or pork. Melo called the flavorings "intense" and said they were developed to penetrate the proteins. Now, based on consumer interest, the dairy processor is developing vegetarian recipes, specifically using tofu.


Dairy Foods name Saute Express one of the Best New Dairy Products of 2012.

Listen to the complete interview here.