Dairy Dialog podcast 82: Arla Foods Ingredients, Rumiano Cheese Company, INTL FCStone

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cheese, Dairy, Arla foods ingredients, COVID-19, coronavirus

On this week’s podcast, we have three interviews, plus our weekly look at the global dairy markets.

We chat with Torben Jensen, senior category manager, FDP, at Arla Foods Ingredients; Joe Rumiano, CEO of Rumiano Cheese Company; and with Nate Donnay, director of dairy market insight at INTL FCStone.

And we have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton from INTL FCStone.

Arla Foods Ingredients launches clean-label ambient yogurt concept to meet Chinese demand

Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a clean-label concept to help brands meet growing demand for ambient yogurts in China.

The new solution, the first of its kind, uses Nutrilac YO-4575, a 100% natural whey protein, to give unrefrigerated yogurts a premium positioning with all-natural ingredients.

Nutrilac YO-4575 is heat stable and has texturizing properties. It keeps ambient products smooth and stable throughout shelf life without the need for additives or preservatives, the company said.

Yogurt sales are growing faster in China than anywhere else in the world, with ambient yogurt the fastest growing segment in the country’s liquid dairy market. The category, which accounted for almost 30% of China’s entire yogurt market in 2019 (Innova Database, 2020) has seen a significantly higher growth rate than either chilled yogurts or liquid milks (Mintel, 2019).

Meanwhile, Lindberg International research (Organic Foods – Customer Insights China, 2019) shows “made with real ingredients” and “no artificial flavor/colors” are the most important claims for Chinese consumers.

There is therefore clear potential for unrefrigerated yogurts with clean labels, Arla Food Ingredients said, and to help manufacturers meet this need, it has created an ambient stirred yogurt concept with 3% protein containing five all-natural ingredients.

Torben Jensen, senior category manager, FDP, at Arla Foods Ingredients, said, “Ambient yogurts with a natural label are looking more and more like a major opportunity to capture a slice of China’s growing yogurt market. But to be part of this journey, manufacturers need to offer something different.

“Clean-label products are the perfect way for brands to differentiate in the category, while tapping into demand for premium products. We’re proud to have developed the first clean label ambient yogurt. Our concept is delicious, convenient and made with all-natural ingredients. It offers a premium edge, with an ideal texture, fresh taste and great stability.”

To highlight the concept’s flavor possibilities, Arla Foods Ingredients is offering it in three varieties: vanilla, peach and green tea. In addition to flavoring, the yogurt contains skimmed milk, cream (38% fat), Nutrilac YO-4575, sugar and native tapioca starch.

Board at Home launched in San Francisco Bay area

Conceived by the oldest family-owned cheese company in California, Rumiano Cheese Company, to help unite and support its fellow artisans and the restaurant industry during the pandemic, Board at Home has launched its curated kits of artisanal cheese, wine and charcuterie with same-day delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Large Board

Every Board at Home kit supports small-scale cheese producers, dairy farmers, wineries and other artisanal makers whose businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

And 5% of proceeds from every purchase are donated to the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to small, independent restaurants and restaurant workers.

Available in two sizes online, the survival kits feature a rotating selection of produce.

At launch, “The Little Guy” Board at Home (small kit) is $65 and includes two wedges of cheese, crackers, and a bottle of wine. “The Big Fella” Board at Home (large kit) is $125 and includes three wedges of cheese, two types of charcuterie, two crackers and two bottles of wine.

Free no-contact delivery is provided by Schug Winery, Monday through Friday, in 250 zip codes within the San Francisco Bay area. Orders placed by noon are available for same day delivery. Users can also schedule a future delivery date or send a Board at Home kit as a gift to friends and family.

The growing roster of collaborators includes Chico Honey Co., Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, Rogue Creamery, Rumiano Cheese Company, Rustic Bakery, Ryan Creek Root Cellar, Schaller Weber, Schug Winery, Stuyt Creamery, Tomales Farmstead Creamery, and Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers.

“The ripple effect of COVID-19 has uncovered a very broken food system. With the disruption to wholesale channels and without an online presence or ecommerce capabilities, some of the best cheesemakers on the planet simply can’t get their cheese to your table,”​ said Raymond Rumiano, co-owner of Rumiano Cheese Company and partner at Board at Home.

“We created this collaborative online marketplace to raise awareness of the crisis that artisanal brands are facing and to give small-scale artisans a platform to reach customers in a whole new way.”

Board at Home plans to expand to additional West Coast cities soon.

INTL FCStone May report

Global financial services company INTL FCStone issued its most recent summary of the dairy markets last week.

The Udder Intelligence report, which looks at butter, cheese and powders, is created out of the Chicago office by Nate Donnay, director of dairy market insight at INTL FCStone.

Donnay says in the summary, “I’ve dug back into the demand side on cheese and butter looking at how sales have been evolving through foodservice, retail, etc. and cheese demand for May still looks terrible (though better than April).

“It probably recovers to “bad” in June and “OK” in July with government purchases making the difference. Butter demand actually looks great. If butter production slows down significantly that market has some upside.”

He adds that NFDM/SMP and dry whey prices were steady to higher in the US and EU, although no one seems to think they are going to surge higher short-term.

While he suggests supply and demand are coming into better balance, he said the market is still oversupplied.

The report adds that total fluid milk sales and butter were likely still above year ago levels for April, but with foodservice still weak and retail cheese sales slowing down, total domestic cheese sales were probably down about 129m pounds from year ago levels, which would be a 12.5% drop in total domestic cheese sales.

Donnay said if foodservices can get back to 20%, retail cheese growth is 10%+ and the government starts buying 40m pounds of cheese per month, there could be mild growth in total cheese sales in July, but sales look weak before then. On the butter side, he said it appears sales will hold up relatively well and the main bearish driver is surplus milk/cream going into butter churns.

As milk production growth slows down the cream should tighten a bit, and help push butter prices higher.

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