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Challenges 'remain the same' despite dairy innovation: Zenith

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By Mark Astley+

Last updated the 19-May-2014 at 02:29 GMT

Challenges 'remain the same' despite dairy innovation: Zenith

Despite the significant evolution of dairy in recent years, many of the challenges faced by the sector "truthfully remain the same," according to Zenith International. spoke with Richard Hall, Zenith International chairman, ahead of the Global Dairy Congress in Istanbul next month.

Despite being in its eighth year, many of the issues due to be discussed at the event are the same as those experienced in 2006, said Hall.

“What has changed?” said Hall.

“There has been a lot of innovation in dairy. It is becoming more targeted, but not just with products. It’s about packaging, convenience, size, functionality and flavor. Every aspect of the proposition is being fine-tuned more carefully.”

Zenith International chairman, Richard Hall.

“But many of the challenges truthfully remain the same,” he said.

“Long dairy traditional”

Around 150 attendees are expected to join more than 25 speakers from Turkey, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Finland, the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Denmark, Germany and the UK for the two-day event.

It kicks off on June 17 with an overview of the Turkish dairy market from Gülay Özcan, adviser to the chairman of local processor Sütaş, followed by Ricardo Travassos, marketing director of Danone Tikveşli.

“We always start with a local view,” said Hall.

“We’re in Istanbul because Turkey has a long dairy traditional, and because the city is where east meets west.”

The first day will also feature sessions with a focus on global market change, emerging markets, and health and sustainability. 

“We always try to cover all key global markets with these events because it is insightful to have participants from countries on different countries offering contrasting opinions,” said Hall.

This, twinned with its proximity, means the eighth Global Dairy Congress will a “genuinely global” event, he claimed.

Product innovation

As well as a significant focus on the globalization of the industry, this year’s Global Dairy Congress will include a keynote from “probably the greatest success story of recent years.”

David Denholm, president and chief operating officer at Chobani, will initiate proceedings on day two with a keynote address on reinvigorating latent demand.

Arun Prabhu, commercial innovation director at Arla Foods, Brian Weber, CEO at Bebida Beverage Company, and Carloz Ramirez, CEO of US ‘brogurt’ brand Powerful Yogurt will join Denholm for a session on product innovation.

“If you look at Powerful Yogurt, we chose them because they’re adding a new dimension to the market,” said Hall.

“Everyone is looking for added value and for consistent sales volume growth. The commodities market remains very important but these new opportunities are of greater focus.”

“We have to pack much more in than eight years ago," he added.

For more information about the Global Dairy Congress, click here.

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