The picture appears to be a little less than rosy for the refrigerated juices/drinks category. For the 52 weeks ending March 25, 2018, dollar sales in the category fell 1.1% to $6.6 billion, while unit sales declined by 2.1% to 2.2 billion, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI.
Dairy processors understand that great-tasting, high-quality products are critical to success. But a number of attributes beyond those essentials (and, of course, price) increasingly are driving consumers' purchase decisions.
You won't find any fancy feeder hoppers or blenders in Praline's Inc.'s Wallingford, Conn., ice cream processing, distribution and headquarters facility. The company believes that the old-fashioned methods still yield the best-tasting ice cream. So plant employees start with a high-quality base, then mix in the variegates and inclusions by hand.
Compared to many other ice cream processors, Wallingford, Conn.-based Praline’s Inc. runs a rather small operation. The 34-year-old company got its start with a single Praline’s ice cream store in Wallingford; it later sold that shop through a franchise agreement to exit retail and enter the ice cream-making business full time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1,600 Americans get listeriosis each year, and about 260 of them die. The infection typically is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
Up until recently, cottage cheese was arguably one of the most yawn-worthy subcategories within the cultured dairy segment. With so much other innovation in the cultured dairy space, consumers likely viewed the product as bland and boring, and retail sales data reflected that reality.
For 2018, the Breakthrough Award for Dairy Ingredient Innovation, a competition hosted by the Elmhurst, Ill.-based American Dairy Products Institute and Dairy Foods, goes to Caloris Engineering and Lone Star Dairy Products LLC.
Every few days or so, I come across a dairy industry-related news item that stands out among all the standard PR about acquisitions, plant upgrades, personnel changes, marketing campaigns and regulatory happenings. Whether that news is sad, funny or simply bizarre, it generally is excluded from our regular online coverage.
You won't find any fancy-looking equipment at the creamery operated by Phoenix-based Danzeisen Dairy LLC. Tucked into a mixture of farm, industrial and residential properties in Phoenix's Laveen neighborhood, the creamery relies on retrofitted vintage milk processing equipment, much of it from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and all of it from U.S. manufacturers, to produce its craft dairy products.
About a decade ago, Greek yogurt was the game-changer in the U.S. cultured products space. But newer cultured dairy products are now providing some competition, and adding excitement to the dairy case.