Dairy Dialog podcast 162: Arla Foods Ingredients, Cardbox Packaging, Real California Milk Excelerator

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog podcast 162: Arla Foods Ingredients, Cardbox Packaging, Real California Milk Excelerator
Dairy Dialog podcast 162: Arla Foods Ingredients, Cardbox Packaging, Real California Milk Excelerator

Related tags Arla foods ingredients Arla Milk Whey Infant formula California Ice cream Packaging Sustainability Recycling

This week we feature three interviews: Libor Miloševský, general manager, Cardbox Packaging; Henrik Andersen, CEO of Arla Foods Ingredients; and three guests related to the Real California Milk Excelerator - John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board, Fred Schonenberg, CEO of VentureFuel, and Sean Folkson, CEO of the winning company, Nightfood.

We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Charlie Hyland at StoneX.

Cardbox Packaging

Cardbox Packaging has locations in Austria (Wolfsberg and Pinkafeld), the Czech Republic (Zádveřice), Serbia (Belgrade) and the US (Pittston, PA).

The company produces carton packaging, with most of its production related to food packaging.

Cardbox Packaging presented its first sustainable cardboard spoon on the market in 2020. The most recent development, however, resulted in a new spoon for dairy and convenience food, the Karlo Spoon. To date, millions of spoons have been sold.

Cardbox Packaging also supplies barrier coatings (assuring quality protection of the board with no PE). The company said it has set clear targets: First, to substitute cardboard-laminated (PE and OPP) materials with its coatings, then moving into PET- and other plastic-laminated carton-board, including pure plastic packaging.

The company said it can now roll out new products to the market such as coating for greasy or frozen food, and water-vapor barriers.

Cardbox Packaging has many products in its portfolio for the dairy industry.

“Our expertise is in folding carton boxes, therefore customers can rely on quality customized packaging for cheese, etc.,”​ the company said.

It noted the recent acquisition of Valuepap GmbH has widened the portfolio to include products such as compostable cardboard cups, which can be used for ice cream.

Arla Foods Ingredients develops new milk fractionation process

A new technology to separate milk into its different protein components has been introduced by Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI).

The patented method, called milk fractionation, was developed by AFI, a supplier of specialized milk and whey ingredients, and a subsidiary of the European dairy cooperative Arla Foods.

AFI said next-generation dairy products are now made possible through the selection of specific pure milk proteins, for example, casein and serum whey proteins.

It said the development of specialized nutrient-specific foods opens up new opportunities for infant formula, sports products, nutrition for the elderly and those with medical nutrition needs.

The separation of milk’s different proteins from whey, previously relied on cheese-making as whey is a by-product of this process. By circumventing the cheese-making process, AFI’s new milk-fractionation technology not only allows for a bigger potential raw-material pool, but also it creates protein streams in a fully-controlled process with reduced processing steps and a more gentle processing of the milk.    

Henrik Andersen, CEO of Arla Foods Ingredients, said, “The method has been several years in development and I’m delighted to see what was once a vision become a commercial reality with the power to completely revolutionize targeted nutrition for vulnerable groups.  As science-based innovators we are driven to invent and reinvent our processes to ensure we have the best possible products available and continue to lead the way in whey.”

The milk fractionation process is being pioneered for infant formula at AFI’s dairy in Videbaek, Denmark to fulfil a growing demand for organic infant formula, a market estimated to increase by 14.1% in the next two years, according to Marketreportsworld.com.

“Traditional cheese making demands significant quantities of organic milk to produce the volumes of whey we require to meet demand and now we’re not reliant on this we can significantly increase production and, at the same time, offer parents and guardians greater clarity of the provenance of the organic infant milk formula because just a few Arla farms supply the milk to our factory in Videbaek,”​ Andersen said.

Arla Foods Ingredients is currently using the new technology to manufacture the organic Baby&Me brand for Arla Foods and AFI expects to launch its first organic private label infant formula solutions based on the technology during 2022.

Nightfood wins Real California Milk Excelerator competition

Nightfood is the grand prize winner of the Real California Milk Excelerator dairy innovation competition.

The event, created in 2019 by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and VentureFuel to fuel innovation in new dairy product development, is a global search for the best emerging products to bring to market using California milk and dairy ingredients.

As grand prize winner, Nightfood will receive $150,000 in resources and funding to take its sleep friendly ice cream novelties to hotel locations across the US.

As presented by founder and CEO, Sean Folkson, a self-identified night snacker and former insomniac, Nightfood's mission is to help night-time snackers around the world satisfy their hard-wired cravings in a better, healthier, and more sleep-friendly way.

The company recently completed a successful pilot program with a global hotel chain to introduce Nightfood ice cream pints into hotel lobby shops across the country. Excelerator prizing will be used to help grow distribution for a novelty version of the ice cream in the hospitality channel.

"I'm honored for Nightfood to be selected by the CMAB, VentureFuel and the panel of industry-expert judges as the first-place winner in this year's Excelerator competition. Sleep is becoming a massive health trend, and many consumers wrestle with hard-wired nighttime survival cravings for calorie-dense foods like cookies, chips, candy, and, of course, ice cream,"​ Folkson said.

"Those high-sugar, high-fat snacks tend to be both unhealthy, and sleep disruptive. Nightfood helps consumers satisfy those prehistoric biological cravings in a better, healthier, more sleep-friendly way. With the help of the CMAB, we look forward to making Nightfood sleep-friendly ice cream sandwiches available in lobby shops in 20,000 hotels across the country."

Nightfood was one of four innovators selected from a field of 12 semi-finalist competitors to present to a judging panel from the CPG, retail, venture capital, food science and media world representing such companies as Albertsons Companies, Coca-Cola, Beam Suntory, My/Mochi Ice Cream, Whole Foods and more in a live virtual pitch (and sample) event.

All four finalists represented products in the frozen dessert space – a market valued at more than $52bn in 20201 and growing, driven by the rising demand for better-for-you dessert options. Alongside the three other finalists, Nightfood was judged on uniqueness or innovation, taste, the ability to scale and the founding team.

Sweetkiwi came in second place and will receive $100,000 in support for growth and distribution for its low calorie whipped frozen Greek yogurt formulated with fiber, protein, and probiotics.

"I am incredibly overwhelmed and excited that we were one of the chosen winners,"​ said Ehime Eigbe, founder and CEO of Sweetkiwi.

"It is such an exciting time for us, we're really pleased the judges saw the value in our innovation. We look forward to carrying the Real California Milk seal and being part of the California dairy family."

The three previous events focused on fluid milk and snacks, however, the 2021 competition spotlighted products using the nutritional and flavor profiles of milk and dairy ingredients to deliver performance and recovery benefits in products ranging from sports drinks to indulgent desserts.

Twelve semi-finalists were selected from 62 entries to move through the Excelerator process, receiving $10,000 worth of support each to develop an edible prototype, while receiving a suite of resources including graphic design, lab or kitchen time and mentorship from global marketing, packaging, investment and distribution experts. The total value of Excelerator prizes is more than 650,000.

"Excelerator winners were judged as much for the founders and founding teams as for the products themselves and we had an incredible group of competitors this year. Nightfood stood out because it really nailed the performance and recovery objective of this year's competition and they have a solid plan for owning the sleep space,"​ said John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board.

"We look forward to partnering with Sean and Ehime to bring both Nightfood and Sweetkiwi's functional dairy desserts, fueled by Real California dairy ingredients, to the larger marketplace."

"Every product that made it into this competition was a winner, having gone through extensive vetting and due diligence to determine their potential,"​ said Fred Schonenberg, CEO of VentureFuel.

"Our mentors helped each accelerate and, in the end, over 2,000 consumers and the 24 expert judges chose these amazing two winners. CMAB and VentureFuel continue to assist all of the companies that made it into the program – so expect to see many of these participants on a shelf near you very soon."

Last week, CMAB and VentureFuel hosted a private retail buyer/investor event to introduce the finalists to the market, which resulted in more than 20 one-on-one meetings with industry decision makers. The program also hosts a multi-week Incubator Boot Camp for idea-stage companies not quite ready for the main Excelerator.


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