Orkla needs more milk as pizza facility in Norway expands

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Orkla is investing in its Norwegian pizza production facility - and increased production means more cheese, meaning more milk will be needed.
Orkla is investing in its Norwegian pizza production facility - and increased production means more cheese, meaning more milk will be needed.

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Orkla is investing more than NOK 500m ($58.2m) in its pizza production facility in Stranda in western Norway.

Milk from around 6,400 cows is needed for one year’s production of pizza. Translated into the number of farms employed, this means that close to 300 Norwegian farms are engaged on a full-time basis in supplying milk to meet the pizza factory’s cheese needs.

A spokesperson for Orkla told DairyReporter, “If we manage to grow the volume, it will increase our need for more raw materials such as cheese, and indirectly milk.”

Production efficiency means combining facilities

The investment program, which covers a period of five years, focuses both on new innovations and on rationalizing production.

Orkla president and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka said improving production efficiency was important.

“Towards the end of the period, we want to combine our two factories in Stranda at one site,” ​Ruzicka said.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean job losses.

The spokesperson said, “With the investment program we are aiming both to create possibilities for future innovations and to improve our production efficiency. We do not know how this will effect jobs, but at this stage we estimate that the number of jobs at Stranda will be stable.”

National dish

“We launched Grandiosa in 1980 when pizza was a rather unknown dish for Norwegians,”​ Orkla told this website.

Since 1980, pizza has become very popular in the country, with more than 500m Grandiosa and BigOne pizzas sold. BigOne, a more American-style pizza, has around 20% of the market share.

“Even though we today have a large Grandiosa portfolio, the classic version is still the most popular. The Lonely Planet guidebook has even mentioned pizza Grandiosa as the national dish of Norway,”​ the spokesperson said.

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