Fonterra, the dairy cooperative from New Zealand, said its dairy ingredients are “paying dividends in the U.S. market.” Fonterra USA Key Account Manager Rachel Marshall said grass-fed, pasture-raised, free-range dairy is experiencing “a surge in popularity” because consumers are more health-conscious and informed on what they eat.

NZMP is Fonterra’s dairy ingredients business. Marshall said that more than 90% of NZMP products are created from New Zealand dairy.

“By buying NZMP New Zealand dairy ingredients, customers may be able to portray NZMP’s sought-after attributes in their own brands,” Marshall said. Those attributes include “dairy from grass-fed cows, which is free from animal growth hormone (rBST), and the strong NZMP name,” she added.

Marshall cited a U.S.-based nutritional company that buys NZMP organic milk protein concentrate and promotes the New Zealand-linked benefits. According to Fonterra, Batory Foods, a protein distributor, reports that contract manufacturers prefer Fonterra’s milk protein concentrate.

U.S. dairy co-ops plan JV with Glanbia

Irish dairy giant Glanbia plc and three U.S. dairy cooperatives said they are in “advanced discussions” to create a stand-alone joint venture to build and operate a cheese and whey production facility in Michigan. Glanbia would own 50% of the joint venture, with the remainder held by its U.S. partners: Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Foremost Farms USA.

The plant is projected to process 8 million pounds (3.6 million liters) of milk daily. DFA, MMPA and Foremost Farms would supply all milk required by the plant. Glanbia will have full responsibility for all commercial, technical and operational aspects of the business. If the project proceeds as planned, commissioning of the new facility is expected to take place in the second half of 2019.

In a statement, Glanbia Nutritionals CEO Brian Phelan said “Consistent with Glanbia’s growth strategy, this proposed venture will build on our position as the No. 1 producer of American-style Cheddar cheese and simultaneously expand our global position as a supplier of advanced technology whey protein to the nutritional sector.”

Glanbia also announced that it is investing approximately €181 million ($192 million) to acquire Amazing Grass in the United States and Body & Fit in the Netherlands. Both businesses have a strong strategic fit with Glanbia’s Performance Nutrition division and will extend its reach to new consumers and channels. Grass Advantage LLC (Amazing Grass) has a portfolio of organic and non-GMO brands in the plant based nutrition, “Greens” and “Super Food” categories. Body & Fit is a direct-to-consumer online branded business focused on performance nutrition.

Dairy Farmers of America is building a Cheddar cheese plant in western New York state in a joint venture with Arla Foods, the European dairy cooperation. Arla will market the cheese.