DMK dives into plant based

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The new DMK plant-based offerings under the MILRAM brand will launch in 2022.
The new DMK plant-based offerings under the MILRAM brand will launch in 2022.

Related tags Dmk plant-based

The biggest German dairy cooperative, DMK Group, provided a glimpse of a new business segment at this year's Anuga trade show in Cologne, announcing it is dipping into the plant-based sector.

This year in Cologne, the industry business unit - the B2B business segment - focused on the cheese product group. With an expanded product portfolio, the focus is on innovative applications for the processing industry.

The BU Brand with its MILRAM, MILRAM Food-Service and Uniekaas brands presented new products for the food retail trade and innovative concepts with cheese, yogurt, desserts and milk drinks for professional users. For international markets, DMK presented Oldenburger and Oldenburger Professional, as well as Rose and the Russian brand Larets.

In keeping with the Anuga motto "Taste the future!" DMK also presented its entry into plant-based alternatives at Anuga.

The DMK Group presented  its first vegan cheese alternatives, produced in-house for the processing industry – the market launch is planned for spring 2022. The focus during development was on one aspect in particular: to develop a product that performs significantly better than the current market standard when it comes to further processing.

To achieve this, the main focus was on the melting and browning behavior so it has the same characteristics as a conventional cheese on products such as pizzas, and in casseroles, but also as a filling for vegan meat alternatives, for example.

This is a path that the DMK Group is also pursuing in other product groups with new plant-based products. MILRAM Food-Service, for example, is expanding its catering range to include desserts based on oats and rice, addressing an important consumer demand.

The high demand for products based on oats isn’t yet adequately being met in desserts, DMK said. Combined with short, understandable ingredient lists and a natural taste without flavor enhancers, the new products’ launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

"Plant-based alternatives have arrived in the mainstream and stand for enjoyment and variety, in taste, especially among the young target groups. With protein demand increasing worldwide and changes in society taking place at the same time, the demand for alternatives will increase even more in the future. As a forward-looking dairy cooperative, we must not close our minds to this trend, in any of our business areas,"​ said CEO Ingo Müller.

"Our core product is and remains cow's milk from the farms of our cooperative farms. Moreover, we are convinced that no other food can ensure such a high level of diversity and balanced nutrition as milk. At the same time, however, we see that a coexistence of dairy and non-dairy products can work well and hold dynamic growth opportunities."  As one of the largest dairy co-operatives, the company is starting from an ideal position. It knows what its products should taste like and has been proving that for decades. We can also use our in-depth know-how for plant-based products.”

DMK Group reduces majority stake in Fude + Serrahn dairy products

Last week, DMK Group also announced it intends to reduce its previous majority shareholdings in Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte GmbH & Co. KG and Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte Verwaltung-GmbH held by DMK Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH.

Fude + Serrahn Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft is taking over around 41% of the previous shares (each around 51%), thus increasing its stake to around 90%. DMK retains a stake of around 10%. A corresponding contract was signed by both parties on September 30, 2021. The closing of the transaction, which is targeted for the first quarter of 2022, is still subject to authority approvals.

Fude + Serrahn, based in Hamburg, has been operating as a production and trading company for dairy products at several locations since 2001. DMK Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH previously held 51% of the shares.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the shares.

"In summer 2019, we drew up our strategic vision 'DMK 2030' and are actively restructuring our company in various areas in line with it,"​ Müller said.

"The shareholding in Fude + Serrahn as a production and trading company has delivered good investment results in the past. As a dairy cooperative, however, we will in future concentrate primarily on our core business in order to best position our individual business units for the future. This will bring us even more into a position to release DMK's own potential and grow in these areas.”

As a consequence, the company has already made a number of changes. The baby food business area was supplemented with the construction of the new baby food plant in Strückhausen and the acquisition of the Alete brand; in the whey processing area, DMK Group has become one of the world's largest suppliers of whey derivatives with the full takeover of DVN; the cheese business was expanded by the traditional Dutch brand Uniekaas; the ice cream business was optimized in terms of locations; and the dextrose business (Sanotact) was sold.



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