Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new this week in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: Friendly Ice Cream, Nestle, Cold Cow Ice Cream, Westby Co-op, Orgánica Yogurt,International Dairy Foods Association and more.

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

Todd Rutter, Rutter's Dairy


Processors Shake Things Up at Convenience Store Show

Milk and ice cream processors exhibited their products this week at NACS, the tradeshow for convenience store operators. Several companies demonstrated milk shake mixes and mixers for store owners.

  • Nestle's Blenderz is a self-service countertop machine. Customers choose from four flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint) and four mix-ins (Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch, peanut butter cup and Oreo).
  • F'real's blending bar offers milkshakes, fruit smoothies and frozen cappuccinos. The frozen, prepackaged ingredients are blended by touching a touchsreen.
  • Cold Cow Ice Cream Co. demonstrated its frozen milkshake that is thawed by placing in a low-wattage microwave oven.


Chapter 11 for Friendly Ice Cream

Friendly Ice Cream Corp., Wilbraham, Mass., the operator of Friendly's restaurants and a nationwide distributor of ice cream products, announced this week that the Company has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. As part of the filing, Friendly's will enter a 363 sale process with an affiliate of its current owners, Sun Capital Partners, as the lead or "Stalking Horse" bidder to quickly restructure the Company and emerge stronger and more competitive.

The more than 400 Friendly's restaurants will be open for business as usual during the Company's financial restructuring and there is expected to be no impact to manufacturing and distribution operations. The company rankss 56th on the Dairy 100, Dairy Foods' listing of North America's largest dairy processors.


Westby Co-op Grows

Westby (Wisconsin) Cooperative Creamery broke ground for a new distribution center and offices.  The DCenter will total 10,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space for manufactured dairy food products, and the offices will contain 6000 square feet of space for business operations. Westby Cooperative Creamery is the only producer of cottage cheeses in the state of Wisconsin, and also manufactures sour creams, dairy dips, yogurts, cream cheeses, hard cheeses, cheese curds, butter and organic dairy food products.

Governor Taps Todd Rutter

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has named Todd Rutter (photo), president of Rutter’s Dairy, York, Pa., to the newly formed Pennsylvania Dairy Leadership Council. Rutter is one of 25 council members representing each key segment within Pennsylvania’s dairy industry named to the Leadership Council, which will make recommendations to the governor on policies, procedures, regulations and legislation that may aid in the development of the dairy industry.

Agriculture Secretary George Greig chairs the council will be responsible for identifying critical issues facing the dairy industry in areas such as dairy farm profitability, environmental compliance for dairy operations, dairy cattle welfare, family and next generation dairy producer opportunities, US Farm Bill and federal dairy policy as well as Pennsylvania dairy policy and legislation. Rutter’s Dairy, established in 1921, is a third-generation dairy business serving Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.


Puerto Rican Processor Earns Second 'Yummy Award'

Natural Awakenings-Puerto Rico magazine bestowed its “Yummy Award” (Local Edible Product), to Orgánica Yogurt and its founder, Antonio Castro-Barreto. It is the second time the entrepreneur has received the distinction, and his company is the only one in Puerto Rico to have it, Orgánica officials said. The company produces 100,000 yogurt units annually in 12 flavors, including coffee, chocolate, mango and passion fruit, all 100% natural fruit with no preservatives or additives. The yogurt is sold at coffee shops and bakeries islandwide, including Los Cidrines, Café Cuatro Sombras and Starbucks.


IDFA Ad Campaign Takes On FMMO System

The International Dairy Foods Association this week launched a television and print advertising campaign about the negative economic impact of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, a set of regulations that gives the federal government control over setting milk prices.

"It's time consumers learned that the price of their milk is being artificially inflated by a maze of government regulations," said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of IDFA. "Our campaign is about encouraging consumers to tell big government to get out of their milk." The campaign kicked off in the Washington, D.C., media market with a television commercial and full-page print ad in Politico and Roll Call.  Internet ads will help bring the message to consumers outside of the Washington area. More at www.outofmymilk.com


IDFA Opposes Bill

Connie Tipton, IDFA President and CEO, issued the following statement about the “Rural Economic Farm and Ranch Sustainability and Hunger Act”:

"Dairy policy continues to be highly controversial. The International Dairy Foods Association, representing milk and dairy manufacturers and 200,000 jobs across the country, opposes S. 1658 and H.R. 3111 because they would limit the U.S. milk supply and raise milk prices.   The bills also fail to reduce the regulatory burden, caused by our antiquated and unnecessary milk pricing system, on the dairy industry.  

“To find consensus on dairy policy in the short term, Congress should focus on expanding risk management tools for dairy farmers, not expanding government regulations and government intervention in dairy markets. 

“While we appreciate the efforts to include dairy in these bills as a starting point for discussion, we adamantly oppose the Dairy Market Stabilization Program because it is anti-consumer and imposes new taxes on dairy manufacturers. Not a single congressional hearing has been held or economic study conducted on the impacts of the new and significantly altered details of this program on the dairy industry.

“There are other dairy proposals that can be funded within existing resources available to Congress, and they do not include a government program to limit the milk supply that would hurt exports, limit industry growth and eliminate needed American jobs. 

“IDFA supports proposals that would expand existing risk management programs for dairy, such as a stand-alone margin insurance program, and allow the marketplace to determine milk prices.”



Call For Papers

The 2012 Food & Beverage Environmental Conference issued a Call for Presentations and Call for Posters to the food and beverage processing and academic communities and their environmental consultant partners. The theme of the Conference is Establishing Environmental Value. Further information, including a list and description of Conference Sessions, as well as Abstract Submission Forms, may be obtained by visiting the conference website. The conference will be held in San Diego, California from March 25-29, 2012.


Opportunities in Private Label

SymphonyIRI Group’s latest Times & Trends Report, “Private Label: Brand Positioning in the New World Order,” explores current and emerging trends around private label, as well as national brand efforts to protect and grow their position in the CPG marketplace. It says "much opportunity remains for private label marketers and national brand marketers alike. But, success will be achieved by those who are thinking outside the box."

SymphonyIRI Group recommends that manufacturers seeking to develop effective private label mitigation strategies should consider the following action items:

           Identify and assess brand-specific opportunities and risks with respect to private label: Monitor price gaps between their brands and private label alternatives to ensure an optimal price gap is maintained; understand private label performance across key categories; leverage value-oriented pricing and promotion programs to protect and grow share.

           Refine competitive strategies vis-à-vis private label: Maintain solid understanding of price/value perceptions across key consumer segments; invest in innovation that will bring differentiation to the marketplace.

           Measure and monitor actual versus planned impact of brand related initiatives: Test new product concepts before embarking on development plans; track and benchmark store-level shifts relative to private label among key retail partners.

Register for SymphonyIRI's free webinar, “Private Label: Brand Position in the New World Order,” hosted by Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends</a> on Oct. 13.


Nominations Open To Honor A 'Big Cheese'

The National Cheese Institute is accepting nominations for its highest honor, the NCI Laureate Award. Nominations must be submitted by November 4, 2011, and there is no fee to enter.

Candidates should be business or academic leaders who have made significant, prolonged contributions to the development and growth of the cheese industry. The award recipient is chosen by a panel of industry professionals based on a nominee's overall career achievements.

The award winner will be recognized at a special ceremony during IDFA's Dairy Forum 2012, January 15-18, in La Quinta, Calif.

Award winners have ranged from cheese company founders and marketers to dairy microbiologists. Previous winners of the NCI Laureate Award include Emanuele (Lino) Saputo, Mark Johnson, Jerome Schuman, Larry Ferguson, John Jeter, Mark Davis, Wes Allen, Elmer Marth, Max Gonzenbach, Rudy Nef, Betsy Holden, Don Menzner, Don Storhoff, Lester Kielsmeier, Hans Epprecht, Norm Olson, Vince Zehren, Jack Budahn, Leonard Gentine Sr., Raymond Goldbach, Harold Steinke, John Nelson and Dave Nusbaum.

For more information and a nomination form, visit www.idfa.org



IDFA Announces 2011-2012 Education and Events Calendar.
For information, visit www.idfa.org.
  • Oct. 12. Webinar: Microbiological Testing Innovations for Dairy Plants
  • Nov. 1 to 3. Webinar Series on Dairy Product Labeling
  • Dec. 7 to 8. Dairy HACCP Course, Offices of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), Rosemont, Ill.
  • Jan. 15 to 18, 2012. Dairy Forum, La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, Calif.
  • Feb. 12-15. International Sweetener Colloquium, The Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
  • March 6-7. Ice Cream Technology Conference, Renaissance Vinoy, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • March 28 to 29. Milk Procurement Workshop, Westin O'Hare, Rosemont, Ill.
  • April 24 to 26. Milk & Cultured Dairy Products Symposium, Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • May 15 to 16. Dairy Accounting & Finance Workshop, Hilton Rosemont, Rosemont, Ill.
  • May 30 to 31.  Dairy Sustainability Symposium, Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • June 20-21. Washington Conference, The Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
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