News briefs: Danisco and Dean Foods

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Danisco

This week, organic producer Stoneyfield Farms prepares to step up its functional focus and Dean Foods looks beyond a challenging fiscal half.

Stoneyfield Farm announces Danisco partnership

US-based organic dairy group Stoneyfield Farm has announced a new partnership with ingredient supplier Danisco in a bid to give a functional kick to its operations.

The company, which is a leading manufacturer of organic yoghurt and yoghurt beverages, said it was now launching a new line of products that would include Danisco’s​probiotic cultures.

The dairy group claims that the specifically designed ingredient, which includes the strain Howaru Rhamnosus, will provide a number of digestion and immune strengthening benefits to its products.

Kais Reddy, Stoneyfield’s vice president for research and development, said Danisco’s experience in the field of probiotic blends would allow the company to meet consumer demand for more functional health orientated products.

“It has allowed us to continue steering ahead of the market and helping our customers keep naturally balanced,”​ she stated.

Dean Foods counts costs after fiscal challenges

Dean Foods has posted a 13 per cent improvement in half-year sales to $6.1bn, though was unable to offset increased production costs over the period.

Operating profits were down by 4.7 per cent to $293m for the six-month period ending 30 June as a result, according to the company. Operating margins also fell by 0.9 percentage points to 4.7 per cent, despite a second quarter improvement in profitability.

In looking ahead, group chief executive officer Gregg Engles, said that the company was remaining optimistic over the second fiscal half.

"Despite the continued challenging commodity cost inflation we've faced, our business teams are executing well,”​ Engles stated.

He added that the company were expecting some challenges in meeting its full year aims though.

“Tempering our confidence for the balance of the year, however, is a heightened level of competitive pressure we are seeing in certain areas of our business, as well as continued volatility and inflationary pressure across the cost spectrum,”​ said Engles.

The group also stressed disappointment at the performance of its​Horizon Organic arm, which was hit by higher organic milk costs and an increasingly competitive market for the products.

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