Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: Yarnell's, Alpina Foods, USDEC ingredients, dairy prices, Dairy Farmers of America, IDFA food safety seminar, Darigold and more.

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

It's July 1, the start of National Ice Cream month. Find grown-up ice cream sundae tips, fun facts about ice cream and photos atRealCaliforniaMilk.com.

Yarnell's closes, citing tough times for independents
Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream ceased operations June 30  after the board of directors voted to end production indefinitely. The privately  owned company, headquartered in Searcy, Ark., told its approximately 200 employees  today that they would be paid through every day worked but not beyond that.  
“This has been an extremely tough year for the ice cream industry in general, and  particularly to regional, independent manufacturers like ourselves,” said Christina Yarnell,  chief executive officer of Yarnell’s., in a statement. “Yarnell’s has been an Arkansas staple for more than 75 years, and it’s been a family  business that started with my great-grandfather, Ray, and has involved four generations  of the Yarnell family. Ceasing operations is heartbreaking because we have prided  ourselves on keeping our roots in Arkansas, particularly Searcy."

Weekly prices rise for butter, Cheddar, whey, nonfat dry milk
Butter prices received for 25 kilogram and 68 pound boxes meeting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grade AA standards averaged $2.13 per pound for the week ending June 25, 2011. The United States (US) price per pound increased 0.8 cent from the previous week.

Cheddar Cheese prices received for US 40 pound blocks averaged $1.99 per pound for the week ending June 25, 2011. The price per pound increased 3.5 cents from the previous week. The price for US 500 pound barrels adjusted to 38 percent moisture averaged $2.05 per pound, up 5.5 cents from the previous week.

Dry Whey prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade standards averaged 53.1 cents per pound for the week ending June 25, 2011. The US price per pound increased 0.5 cent from the previous week.

Nonfat Dry Milk prices received for bag, tote, and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Grade A standards averaged $1.66 per pound for the week ending June 25, 2011. The US price per pound increased 0.9 cent from the previous week.

Read the entire report atnass.usda.gov

Dairy products shown at distributor's show
Spartan Stores, the nation's 11th largest grocery distributor headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hosted the 7th Annual Grocery, Frozen & Dairy Expo for independent retailers on June 22-23, 2011. This annual national show drew 75 major food vendors and brokers from throughout the United States and Canada and featured 200 booths, showing new food products, including "lattes on the go," ice cream and microwave popcorn in a pop-up bowl. According to a press release from the show organizer, notable new show stoppers included:
Hot 2 Go Individual 10.6 oz. lattes in a ready to drink container (flavors include Hazelnut Coffee Latte/Light, French Vanilla Coffee Latte/ Light, Mocha Coffee Latte/Light). Hot Chocolate will be available in September.
Spartan Indulgent Creations Summer Flavors ice cream
(Michigan Blueberry and Peaches & Cream) and Better For You Ice Cream Sandwich and Fudge Bars by Country Fresh
Chocolate Milk with no High Fructose Corn Syrup- Dean's TruMoo Chocolate Milk.
Spartan Stores Inc., (Nasdaq:SPTN) has 1.4 million square feet of warehouse, distribution, and office space located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Company distributes more than 40,000 corporate and national brand products to approximately 375 independent grocery stores in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, and to its 97 corporate-owned stores Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen's Markets, D&W Fresh Markets and VG's Food and Pharmacy.

DFA, Darigold export cheese
Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) accepted four requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America and Darigold to sell a total of 614 metric tons (1,354 million pounds) of Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese to customers in Asia and Europe. The product will be delivered July through September. In 2011, CWT has assisted members in making export sales of Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gouda cheese totaling 20,282 metric tons (44.7 million pounds) to 20 countries on four continents. An adjustment was made due to a cancellation of 560 metric tons to the Middle East.

Food-safety training programs set for Chicago, Atlanta
A new training program offered by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy provides dairy processors education on best practices and techniques for in-plant pathogen control, to better meet stringent food safety regulations under the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act. The training workshops, developed by food safety experts from 10 dairy processors, cooperatives and manufacturers, and IDFA, will kick off with the Dairy Plant Food Safety Workshop July 26-27 in Rosemont, Ill. (near Chicago's O'Hare Airport), followed by another session Sept. 21-22 in Atlanta.
Pathogen-control guidelines, principles, techniques and approaches for the dairy plant will be the main focus for the workshop, along with food-safety fundamentals on sanitation, sanitary design, development of standard operating procedures, environmental monitoring techniques, and case studies. Food safety experts from several industry companies will deliver the training, which provides hands-on experience for immediate implementation once participants return to their plants. For registration information, go toidfa.org.

Study: High gas prices reduce shopping trips
To keep CPG manufacturers and retailers current as gas prices and other essential commodities continue to fluctuate and affect shopper behavior, SymphonyIRI is offering new intelligence in the just released Times & Trends Special Report, “The Ripple Effect: High Gas Prices Bring Pain Beyond the Pump.”
“Volatility in gas prices has caused consumers to rethink vacations and airlines to boost prices,” says John McIndoe, senior vice president, Marketing, SymphonyIRI. “Even though gas prices have eased in the last month, they are still high and continue to put a strain on the family budget. The bottom line is that shoppers still face a lot of uncertainty with the ups and downs of the economy and will continue to evaluate their purchases very carefully for the foreseeable future.”
High gas prices are rippling through the CPG marketplace and making a significant impact on budget-strained shoppers. In fact, nearly half of consumers feel their grocery budgets are being squeezed by higher prices at the pump. As a result, grocery shopping patterns are changing. Shopping trips are being consolidated, and consumers are showing a growing affinity for closer-to-home retail options, with four out of 10 shoppers being forced to reduce or completely eliminate trips to their preferred retailers due to rising gas prices.
Download the report from SymphonyIRI.

3-A SSI issues probationary list
3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. (3-A SSI) announces new public information on the probationary status of a current 3-A Symbol licensee.  The new Probationary List was introduced in early 2010 to assist regulatory sanitarians, processors, equipment fabricators, and other interested parties. 
The Probationary List was added to other public information on 3-A Symbol holders to disclose information on any licensee that is responsible for a finding of non-conformance to certain provisions of a 3-A Sanitary Standard for which the company holds 3-A Symbol authorization, including the company name and the specific type and model of equipment.  According to Tim Rugh, “The Probationary List is not intended to penalize the licensee, but to help inform all concerned parties that the licensee is addressing specific issues it has acknowledged require correction.”  The licensee remains in this status until a plan for corrective action is completed and verified by third party inspection.
3-A SSI maintains public information on 3-A Symbol licensees includingcurrent and discontinued licensees and the new Probationary List.  The public information is important because it shows all equipment conforms to 3-A Sanitary Standards for dairy and food processing equipment and meets provisions of the 3-A Symbol program.  The discontinued symbol holders list shows the reason for discontinuation, such as the equipment is no longer in production, the equipment was consolidated in another 3-A Symbol authorization resulting from a change in company ownership, or the failure of the holder to maintain the authorization in accordance with the terms and conditions for use of the 3-A Symbol.

Science supports milk’s role in exercise recovery
Two new research reports continue to build on the growing body of science that shows the benefits of milk as a protein-rich recovery drink following exercise:
A clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics states that low-fat milk is a good option as a protein-recovery drink following prolonged vigorous exercise. The report is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.
Presenters at the recent American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting and 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine shared research results that indicated drinking chocolate milk after a workout can boost improvements in aerobic fitness and body composition.
“These studies further validate milk as nature’s sports drink,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff. “Milk helps your body refuel, rehydrate and recover after a workout, benefitting active people of all ages.”

USDEC shows benefits of dairy ingredients
The U.S. Dairy Export Council shared domestic dairy-ingredient options for food and beverage manufacturers at last month's Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo to help increase U.S. dairy ingredient use in new food and beverage product development.
USDEC shared how U.S. dairy ingredients can contribute to improved taste, functionality and nutrition for a variety of products targeting different consumers. Product and nutrition scientists, along with representatives from partner research centers, joined USDEC in sharing the latest news on how dairy ingredients help solve today’s product development challenges.
Researchers and developers shared food prototypes that meet the needs of today’s consumers – from products with increased protein to reduced-sodium foods that did not sacrifice taste. The prototypes showcased trends related to healthy aging, simple labeling, the versatility and functionality of cheese, and an impressive variety of applications using dairy proteins to drive the next generation of nutritious foods and beverages.
Among the prototypes shared were:
Strawberry Sunrise Waffle– a calcium-packed, yogurt-infused waffle that also is a great source of protein.
Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash Soup – a soup made with dairy solids (permeate) that features 32 percent less sodium than a similar soup made with salt.
Cheesy Crunchers – a prototype that can serve as a snack or topping that features reduced-sodium Cheddar cheese mixed with dairy protein.
Cucumber Lemon Yogurt Drink– a yogurt-based beverage that contains probiotics and dairy proteins.
Satisfying Pasta Salad– pasta fortified with whey protein, featuring low-fat cottage cheese sauce instead of oil or dressing.
For more information about U.S. domestic dairy ingredient resources, visitInnovateWithDairy.com. For more information about the checkoff, visitdairycheckoff.com

Alpina Foods turns to Facebook to promote new yogurt
Last month, Alpina Foods launched the “Make a Wish for Women” program to debut its Restart yogurt. The company invites women to support each other by posting their “Wishes for Women” online. Alpina Foods matches every wish with a charitable donation to Women In Need, a charity dedicated to helping women overcome challenges and become their ideal selves. Online, “Make a Wish for Women,” asks customers, friends and fans to post their own personal wishes for women onthe Alpina Foods Facebook page, or Tweet with the hashtag #wishforwomen. For every wish, Alpina will make a donation and release a live butterfly into its wish space at Park Avenue South & 28th St in New York City.

See how dairy rates in new government guidelines
USDA “tip sheet” on dairy, which can be found atmyplate.gov

Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday.