The company's Borculo plant in the Netherlands will undergo an expansion, aiming to address the increasing demand for specialised ingredients.
Herman Ermens, president of FrieslandCampina, emphasises the growing consumer interest in health and well-being has motivated the expansion.
He states: "As consumers of all ages become more proactive about their health and well-being, they’re increasingly looking for specialised ingredients that bring the benefits they value.”
Ermens explained that the demand for whey protein remains high, as increasingly, consumers are seeking out this macronutrient to support their overall well-being, such as managing hunger levels or supporting their exercise routines.
“This is highlighted by the fact that a significant six out of ten consumers want to increase their protein intake and 74% believe it will help them achieve their health and wellness goals. The market growth of this gold-standard protein truly highlights its popularity– the market is expected to grow to $40.3 billion by 2033.
“But although people are looking to incorporate more protein into their diet, many struggle to find the time. Between busy work schedules, family commitments, and active social lives, it can be difficult to put nutrition first.
“As such, we’re seeing a huge demand for nutritious convenience, with consumers increasingly turning to protein solutions such as shots, waters, and bars to get the support they need in one, on-the-go solution.”
Whey protein isolate and MFGM
According to Ermens, whey protein isolate is particularly popular in the performance nutrition market due to its amino acid composition and versatility in various applications.
“One of the main reasons we have decided to double our whey protein isolate and MFGM production is because demand for these specialised ingredients is growing rapidly.
“Whey protein, which has long been considered the gold standard in protein, is experiencing increased demand from increasingly proactive, health-conscious consumers who are looking to meet their health and wellness goals.
“MFGM is also experiencing increased demand, which has, in part, been driven by the premiumisation trend in infant nutrition. When breast-feeding is not an option, parents are turning to products that contain more specialised ingredients that are proven to contribute to the healthy growth and development of their babies.
“By doubling production of these ingredients, we’re able to meet rising consumer demand.”
Ermens continues: "I truly believe that the future of whey lies in higher performance, specialised ingredients that make the most of dairy’s nutritional profile.”
Sustainability at the Borculo plant
Commercial production of the expanded ingredients is expected to begin in early 2026, and the company is actively working on reducing CO2 emissions at the Borculo plant in line with its 2050 climate plan ambitions.
Ermens notes: “We are constantly seeking ways to minimise our environmental impact and our sustainability vision is to have fully climate-neutral and circular factories by 2050.
“To do this, we’re aiming to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, reduce our water usage by 50%, and use 100% renewable electricity by that year. As part of this, we’re using only the best technology to ensure we realise the most sustainable solutions for energy and water.”
He explained that the Borculo factory is at the forefront of the company’s sustainability efforts, with the trucks that deliver to the Borculo factory being fuelled by pyrolysis oil – a synthetic fuel made from wood chips.
The swap allows a reported saving of 10 million m3 of natural gas per year, with a carbon reduction of 16,000 tonnes per year.
FrieslandCampina is also using biogas in the Borculo factory to power our operations, helping to reduce carbon emissions by 8,000 tonnes each year.
Ermens states: “As part of our drive towards circularity, we re-use water in processes as much as possible to minimise the need to use clean water. At our Borculo factory, residual substances are converted into alginate which we can then re-use.
“By making these changes and dedicating significant investment and research into the sustainability of our factories and our whole supply chain, we’re helping to provide sustainable nutrition to the globe.”