Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: dairy product prices,Smart Balance, Hood Simply Smart Milk, Velvet Ice Cream, YoCream International, Danone, Supervaluand more.

Welcome to Jim Carper's Dairy Case, a look at the new dairy products, companies and marketing efforts making the news.

Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what's new in products, companies and marketing.

Dairy Products Prices Highlights

USDA Grade AA Butter prices for 25 kilogram and 68 pound boxes averaged $2.01 per pound for the week ending April 30, an increase of 1.9 cents from the previous week.

Cheddar cheese prices received for US 40 pound blocks averaged $1.62 per pound for the week a decrease of 0.3 cents. US 500-pound barrels adjusted to 38% moisture averaged $1.62 per pound, up slightly. Dry Whey prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade standards averaged 47.6 cents per pound, a decrease of 0.4 cents. Nonfat dry milk prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or United States Public Health Service Grade A standards averaged $1.60 per pound, increasing 2.7 cents from the previous week. Read more on the National Agricultural Statistics Service website.

In the news
Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, opened a new $11.2 million Southwest Regional Dairy Center. The center allows visitors to have an up-close look at the automatic-sort gates, 24-cow carousel milking parlor with radio frequency identification (RFID) capabilities. The center includes classrooms and research laboratories, free-stall barn and other production facilities. When fully operational the state-of-the-art Dairy Center, which serves as Texas’ only university research dairy, will accommodate up to 300 cows. It is expected to begin producing milk this fall.

Mother’s Day marketing programs

Smart Balance, maker of heart-healthier food products, including milk, said it will make a $1 donation to WomenHeart for each free e-card sent from its website, www.SmartBalance.com. WomenHeart is the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease to support women's heart health. The website has eight whimsical and original eCards.
Hood Simply Smart Milk announced the 2011 Simply Smart VIP Tennis Weekend Contest offering a trip for two to the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Boca Raton, Fla., Nov. 11-13, 2011. The contest is part of a larger partnership between Simply Smart Milk and Chris Evert to provide women with healthy lifestyle tips and best practices for achieving balance in their busy lives.
Velvet Ice Cream, Utica, Ohio, is serving a $7.99 Mother’s Day dinner at itsYe Olde' Mill Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor. The ice cream processor will take family photos for a $1 donation to the Utica Emergency Medical Services.

New dairy products and recipes

YoCream International, Portand, Ore., launched Activia Frozen Yogurt, a soft-serve frozen yogurt that helps naturally regulate the digestive system. Activia is a Danone brand. Danone and YoCream merged late last year. A 4-ounce serving has 100 calories. Activia frozen yogurt contains the probiotic culture Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010.The product is available in four flavors: vanilla, strawberry, peach and blueberry. YoCream will exhibit the frozen yogurt at the National Restaurant Association show beginning May 20 in Chicago, and the product will be available through foodservice distribution June 1.
Prior to the Cinco de Mayo (May 5) celebration, the California Milk Advisory Board supported the state’s cheesemakers by releasing an at-a-glance tip sheet on Hispanic cheeses and recipes, including Oaxaca French Toast with Salsa, calling for milk, butter and Oaxaca cheese.
Supervalu CEO and president Craig Herkert said the company expects to deliver a 100-basis-point annual improvement in private brand sales per year over the next three years. As part of its plans, Supervalu intends to move to a new single national-brand-equivalent private brand, called Essential Everyday, to replace existing banner-branded products. Herkert also outlined plans to grow the company’s wholesale distribution business through continued development and deployment of new value-added services to support its independent retailers while at the same time better leveraging the scale of the entire Supervalu store network.

Regulatory beat

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week announced two new regulations issued under the new authorities granted the agency by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Both rules will take effect July 3, 2011.

The first rule allows the FDA to administratively detain food the agency believes has been produced under insanitary or unsafe conditions.The FDA will be able to detain food products that it has reason to believe are adulterated or misbranded for up to 30 days, if needed, to ensure they are kept out of the marketplace.

The second rule requires anyone importing food into the United States to inform the FDA if any country has refused entry to the same product, including food for animals. This new requirement will provide the agency with more information about foods that are being imported, which improves the FDA's ability to target foods that may pose a significant risk to public health.


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