Welcome to the dairy case, a round-up of what’s new in products, companies and marketing. In this issue: IDFA,J&J Snack Foods, HP Hood, DCI Cheese, Stonyfield, Slim-Fast, Sophie Yogurt, Fair Oaks Dairy Products, Wells Enterprisesand more.

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


This is a double issue of the Dairy Case, incorporating news from the weeks ended Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.


The International Dairy Foods Association said that the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) front-of-pack nutrition labeling rating and symbols recommendations use a flawed formula that could confuse consumers seeking information on the nutrient content of food and beverages.

"According to the proposed labeling system, low-fat dairy products - which are recommended as nutrient-rich foods to encourage in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans - would receive a rating of 2 stars while products devoid of positive nutrients such as a diet soft drink could qualify for 3 stars," said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs. "A labeling system that focuses on calories and 'nutrients to avoid' does not provide consumers with the full range of information needed to make healthy and nutritious choices in the food aisle."


Three food trade associations filed a petition this month urging the Food and Drug Administration to revoke a recent Federal Register Notice announcing new fees on the food industry. The three associations are: American Council of Independent Laboratories, Association of Food Industries, and Cheese Importers Association of America. The petition cites three alternative grounds for revocation of all or part of the controversial FDA fee Notice. 

  • First, the petition calls for revocation of the entire Notice because FDA did not follow the law in its method for calculating the amount of each fee. 
  • Second, in the alternative, the petition calls for revocation of portions of the Notice regarding imposition of fees on small businesses, as defined by the Small Business Association, because FDA did not meet its statutory duty to issue guidelines in consideration of the burden of the fees on small business. 
  • Third, in the alternative, the petition urges revocation of the Notice as it concerns fees on food importers for reinspection of food when there was not first a finding of noncompliance, as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The three associations made clear that they are not opposed to adequate resources for FDA. Petitioners cited the fact that FDA fees may be huge and that they may threaten the viability of small businesses.  Signing the petition on behalf of the three petitioners were: Milton M. Bush, American Council of Independent Laboratories; Bob Bauer, Association of Food Industries; and

Kenneth Meyers, The Cheese Importers Association of America.


The Institute for Dairy Ingredient Processing, a component of the new Davis Dairy Plant at South Dakota State University (SDSU), had its grand opening on Oct. 21. It will provide dairy ingredient manufacturers with an efficient, valuable and improved way to research, develop and test new dairy-based ingredients and processes. The $10 million expansion of the South Dakota State University Davis Dairy Plant was funded by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff program, dairy processors, dairy suppliers, alumni and friends of the SDSU Foundation, the State of South Dakota, and South Dakota State University.


Milk from the Heart delivered low-fat milk to low-income families on Food Day, Oct. 24. Milk from the Heart is a project of social services provider Homes for the Homeless. Since launching in February, Milk from the Heart has distributed milk to thousands of New York City children five days a week. Milk from the Heart distribution sites are located at 13 locations throughout Manhattan and the Bronx, where families line up around the block to receive milk distributed by a mobile milk truck. Milk from the Heart distributes approximately 14,000 quarts of milk a month.




 J&J Snack Foods Corp., Pennsauken, N.J., is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. On Sept. 27, 1971, Gerald B. Shreiber purchased the assets of J&J Soft Pretzel Co. at a bankruptcy auction. At the time, the company had eight employees and annual sales of less than $400,000. Today has over 3,000 employees, sales of nearly $750 million and distribution throughout both national and international markets.

J&J Snack Foods’portfolio of products includes soft pretzels, frozen beverages, frozen juice treats and desserts, churros, funnel cakes, cookies and bakery goods, and other snack foods and drinks. Its principal frozen products include Icee, Slush Puppie, Arctic Blast, Luigi’s, Mama Tish’s, Shape Ups, Minute Maid and Barq’s frozen juice bars and ices, whole fruit sorbet, fruit-a-freeze frozen fruit bars.

J & J has manufacturing facilities in Pennsauken, Bridgeport and Bellmawr, N.J.; Scranton, Hatfield and Chambersburg, Pa.; Carrollton, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Moscow Mills, Mo.; Pensacola, Fla.; Vernon, Colton and Norwalk, Calif.; Holly Ridge, N. C.; and Weston, Ore.


HP Hood is staging a head-to-head cook-off at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland, Maine, on Nov. 6 to determine the winner of its the 3rd annual Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off presented by Hood Sour Cream. The 30 semifinalists will compete for a $10,000 grand prize. Amateur cooks from across New England compete in the following categories: breakfast/brunch; soups/chowders; appetizers/side dishes; lunch/dinner (entree); and dessert. Judges will select the winning dish based on taste appeal, presentation/appearance, and creativity/originality.


Consumers can support improved nutrition in America’s schools through an initiative led by DCI Cheese Co.'s Black Diamond Cheddar cheese brand. DCI Cheese will donate 25 cents from every Black Diamond package purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 to Action for Healthy Kids. Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is the nation’s leading nonprofit and largest volunteer network working with schools and families to fight childhood obesity and undernourishment.


Stonyfield entered into a two-year sponsorship agreement with plans to support USTA League players through online health and fitness content; sampling for members at USTA League National Championships; as well as ongoing promotions and programs exclusive to USTA members. Stonyfield will be the Official Yogurt of USTA League, the country's largest recreational tennis league with more than 335,000 players nationwide.


Safeway Inc. and its Lucerne brand put out a Call for Entries for the Seventh Annual Lucerne The Art of Dairy art contest. The grand prize is $30,000. Since the inception of the contest in 2005, Lucerne has contributed over $327,000 to schools, teachers, and students. The Call for Entries will run through Nov. 18. Details (and past winners) at www.ArtofDairy.com.




Research released by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Booz & Company and Shopper Sciences shows that company leaders in shopper solutions experience higher sales growth and a better return on investment for their marketing programs. The report is titled "Shopper Marketing 5.0: Creating Value With Shopper Solutions."

Shopper solutions are insight-driven events which often feature two or more products that shoppers can purchase together. They can deliver incremental value to shoppers in terms of shopping and product experience, and thus, simultaneously build brand engagement and drive action.

“This study gives retailers and manufacturers an unprecedented resource that will assist them in the development of more scalable and effective shopper marketing programs that yield a win-win-win for shoppers, manufacturers and retailers,” says Joe Crafton, President of CROSSMARK and chair for the GMA committee working with Booz & Company and Shopper Sciences on this year’s study.

Key findings of the study revolve around defining best-in-class shopper solutions and the capabilities needed to create sustainable and scalable programs. A best-in-class shopper solution capability includes four components: the ability to:

  • Develop and integrate consumer and shopper insights
  • Gain an intimate understanding of the needs of retailers and opportunities to drive growth together through programs focused where there is the greatest headroom for growth
  • Work with external partners and tap into a full arsenal of platforms and vehicles to deploy shopper solutions across the full path to purchase
  • Create a well-oiled organizational machine that can effectively and efficiently execute shopper solution programs and measure their results

Read more about the report here.


At the Anuga fair this month in Cologne (Koeln), Germany, the Dutch Vandersterre Group exhibited its premium cheese brands Prima Donna and Landana. The Landana product range (made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk) includes wasabi and green pesto flavors. The Landana red pesto cheese is made with paprika, basil and garlic. Coriander and fenugreek are other ingredients used in the company's Landana goat and cow's milk cheeses.


Unilever's Slim-Fast introduced what it calls its "richest, creamiest and best-tasting shakes ever" in new on-the-go bottles. On Oct. 17, Slim-Fast began offering a “Buy It Now” option on its official Facebook page that provides consumers with the opportunity to order the all-new Slim-Fast shakes and other Slim-Fast products through a custom tab. The new shakes are sold in the diet and nutrition sections of retailers nationwide including Walmart, Target, Safeway, Walgreens and Kroger and on Amazon.com. New flavors are: Creamy Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, Rich Chocolate Royale, Cappuccino Delight and Strawberries N’ Cream. The new 10-ounce bottles will be sold in packs of four, eight and 20 and are lighter, re-closable and more versatile than the previous Slim-Fast canned shakes.


Sophie Yogurt is a new all-natural, no-sugar-added, zero fat, Greek-style yogurt available in the New York City area. The five flavors are: Chocolate, Banana Cream Pie, Vanilla Bean, Plain and Plain with Fiber. The yogurt was created by Sophie Pachella, the nutrition and fitness expert behind the health and wellness foundation: EatStrong. Each cup of Sophie Yogurt contains at least 14 grams of protein and 90 to 140 calories.


The Dairy Research Institute invites students to enter a new product competition. The challenge is to create a dairy beverage that relates to the most recent competitive beverage analysis and meets criteria including using any form of fresh or dry milk or other dairy ingredients, demonstrating innovation and providing a valuable product for consumers. Entry information can be accessed at www.USDairy.com/NewProductCompetition through Feb. 15, 2012.


Fair Oaks Dairy Products, LLC issued a voluntary recall of blue cheese produced under the Fair Oaks Royal Blue Cheese label and purchased on or after Sept. 25, 2011 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.


Wells Enterprises, Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is voluntarily recalling a limited number of packages of its Blue Bunny Personals ice cream 5.5 fl oz. because it was mispackaged and contains undeclared wheat. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat and/or have gluten sensitivities may be at risk from consuming these products. On a limited number of packages, the lid describes the product as Blue Bunny Super Chunky Cookie Dough ice cream, and the carton portion of the package describes the product as Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic ice cream. The product inside the carton is Super Chunky Cookie Dough. The ingredient statement on the carton does not declare wheat, which is an ingredient in the Super Chunky Cookie Dough product.

The affected mispackaged product was distributed in 5.5 fl oz. Personals cartons, with Lot Number 10009 “Best Used By” date 10/1/2012, - UPC 0 70640 00463. The lot number and UPC can be found printed on the side of the carton. The affected product was shipped to the following states: Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Texas.


The Grocery Manufacturers Association appointed Robert Burns to the position of Vice President, Health and Nutrition Policy. Dr Burns most recently was owner of Nutrition Implications, LLC, a consulting business, where he helped food organizations and companies develop strategic approaches to nutrition and health, including engagement with external stakeholders and development of research programs and communication initiatives.  Prior to that, he held nutrition leadership roles in Cadbury Schweppes and Mead Johnson where he worked with cross-functional business and technical partners to develop and execute nutrition and wellness strategies.



Nov. 8 to 9. 23rd Annual Kosherfest show, Meadowlands (New Jersey) Expo Center. www.kosherfest.com 


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