Kerry validates environmental impact of upcycled cheese powders

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/MSPhotographic
GettyImages/MSPhotographic

Related tags Sustainability Upcycling Dairy Cheese Food waste

The powders’ environmental performance is ISO-validated and can reduce scope 3 emissions for manufacturers who use them.

Kerry Group has reported that its upcycled cheese powders are 45% lower in greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard cheese powder. The manufacturer commissioned a product carbon footprint (PCF) assessment to be carried out on its powders manufactured through upcycling cheese, to determine their environmental benefits.

The study was carried out by Jacobs in line with the principles, requirements and guidelines developed by the International Organization for Standardization under ISO 14067:2018, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. It will be repeated in 2023 to track the outcomes of this sourcing strategy and note any changes to the year-on-year results.

The PCF confirmed that through upcycling cheese, Kerry utilizes 16,000 tons of cheese that would otherwise go to waste and avoids 75,000,000 kgCO2e carbon emissions. The powders are manufactured in Glamsbjerg, Denmark.

“This is the first year we have completed the PCF and validated the environmental impact, but we will be repeating the process in 2023 and will be able to compare the change over time with validated data,”​ a spokesperson told DairyReporter. “Upcycled foods not only prevent food from going to landfill, but they also avoid additional unnecessary emissions. This is a big benefit for our customers as food manufacturers are actively looking to reduce their scope three carbon emissions and improve the sustainability positioning of their products.”

Carmel Collins, global portfolio director of dairy taste for Kerry, added: “Cheese is wasted throughout the supply chain across the industry. At Kerry, due to our novel sourcing model, scientific skillset and technical capabilities, we are uniquely positioned to upcycle this cheese into delicious, high-quality and shelf-stable cheese powders that deliver an authentic cheese taste. By doing this, we are maximising the potential of the food source and the resource it takes to manufacture the cheese in the first place, whilst simultaneously minimising food waste.

“The PCF clearly shows that our cheese powders deliver lower carbon solutions for our customers’ products. This is a great attraction for consumers seeking upcycled products that are better for the environment while still tasting great.” 

Cheese snacks - consumers' preferred choice

The cheese powder segment is of significant importance to Kerry. The company recently reported that cheese-flavored savory snacks were the top preference for consumers, ahead of other savory options like sea-salt and BBQ; 62% of global consumers also found cheese flavors ‘more exciting’, revealed Kerry.

Independent market research has also shown that the cheese snacks market is becoming increasingly lucrative. According to Grand View Research, the category is set to almost double its value in the next decade, growing from US$68.48bn to US$111.8bn - a rate of 6.3% CAGR.

Besides capitalizing on this trend, Kerry has formally outlined its ambitions to reach more than two billion people with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030 – a strategy that requires the Group to double its business this decade. The company has achieved market expansion through M&As, including the purchase of Kraft Heinz’s B2B powdered cheese division for US$107.5m – a transaction that has now been completed, Kerry told DairyRepoter.

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