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A Week of Highlights from the Dairy Industry!

2020-02-21 18:26 Friday

Danone introduces sachet packs for Aptamil and Cow & Gate

Danone has launched new sachet packaging for its Aptamil and Cow & Gate powder baby milk ranges in the UK.

The new format is sold in boxes of 14 ready-to-mix, single-serve sachets across all three stages of baby feeding for both brands: first infant milk (from birth), follow on milk (age 6-12 months) and growing up milk (age 1-2 years).

According to Danone research, nearly half (49%) of parents want baby milk products that are convenient for feeding while away from home. The new design removes any need for counting scoops.

The formulations of each sachet product remain the same as the powder formulations already on shelf, while the serving size of each sachet varies between the product stages.

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Emmanuelle Grimbert, marketing director UK at Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, said: "Busy parents tell us they need more of their valuable time back to spend with their little ones. With convenient format foods now increasingly popular across adult product offerings, it's no surprise adults want this option for their babies as well.

"Mums and dads tell us the sachets are particularly useful for night-time feeds when they're sleepy, or when they are travelling; no more carrying bulky powder tubs around in your suitcase."

The new products are now available in the UK with recommended retail prices ranging from £7.50 to £10.49 per pack.

Mamma Chia unveils Chiamilk dairy-free milk alternatives

US plant-based beverages and snacks maker Mamma Chia will launch a dairy-free milk alternative range made from chia seeds.

Available in unsweetened original and unsweetened vanilla variants, Mamma Chia Organic Chiamilk is suitable for adding to smoothies, cereal, coffee or consuming straight from the bottle.

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According to Mamma Chia, each serving of organic Chiamilk "is a nutritional powerhouse" with omega-3 and "more calcium than a glass of traditional milk".

"For over ten years, Mamma Chia has been creating delicious, nutrient-rich beverages and snacks powered by the magic of chia," said brand founder and CEO, Janie Hoffman. "We are delighted to share more of that magic with our light and creamy plant-based Chiamilk that makes it easy to enjoy more of the nourishing benefits of chia as part of your daily routine.

"More than ever, consumers today are craving plant-based food and beverage choices, so we lovingly crafted this recipe to give consumers a non-dairy milk option with exceptional nutrition and a taste that outperforms other alternative milks in the market."

According to Research and Markets, the chia seed market is one of the fastest-growing commodity markets globally and is projected to reach $2.1 billion by 2022.

Mamma Chia says this interest stems from an increased understanding of the nutritional density of chia seeds.

Its Chiamilk products will be available at Sprouts Farmers Market and other natural food stores in the US as of March, with additional retail expansion to come throughout 2020.

'Soaring demand': Tesco plans to stock more kefir dairy products

Tesco has predicted kefir will become one of the major food trends of 2020 after sales "dramatically rocketed" in the last year.

The UK retailer said demand for kefir - a yogurt-like drink containing gut-friendly bacteria - has risen by 400% in the last 18 months.

Kefir is a centuries-old product made with milk and live cultures that is high in protein and calcium.

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"Shoppers are really switching on to gut health and demand for kefir is now so strong that in the last few years we have nearly doubled our range and we have plans to add more this year," said Tesco dairy drinks buyer, Vicky Smith.

"Its popularity has been building, mainly by word of mouth on a monthly basis to the extent that we now stock seven different drinks as well as four yogurt variants.

"The original natural variety has a slightly sour but wonderfully creamy taste. Last year, in order to widen its popularity, we added cherry, strawberry plus mango and turmeric flavours."

Tesco said as demand took off in the last decade, it brought in its first UK kefir producer, Biotiful Dairy, and ranged the drinks in its regular dairy aisle.

Ex-figure skater Natasha Bowes founded Biotiful Dairy in 2012 to fulfil her ambition of introducing kefir to the increasingly health-conscious UK market.

"I grew up in Russia where kefir is a way of life and it is rare for anybody to have problems with their gut," she said.

"When business brought me to Ireland and then England more than 20 years ago, I found it hard to find kefir but then had a lightbulb moment of creating my own dairy."

Last year, Biotiful Dairy launched a strawberry-flavoured kefir and three spoonable kefir quark pots with fruit compote.

Alden's Organic releases three new ice cream flavours in US

Ice cream brand Alden's Organic has responded to consumer demands for more flavours with three new products.

Both ooey gooey brownie and peachy keen twist are packaged in 14oz pints and have a suggested retail price of $5.49-$5.99. Old fashioned vanilla is sold in a 48oz "sqround" tub, priced at $7.99-$8.49.

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Alden's said its line of 14oz pints, launched in 2019, is "exceeding expectations". With the addition of these two new offerings, the range consists of ten flavours.

"Peach has proven to be popular year-round and our fans have been asking for a brownie flavour for years. We are proud to go all in on these new products that deliver delicious true-to-flavour taste that Alden's Organic is known for," said Eric Eddings, CEO of Alden's Organic.

The old fashioned vanilla ice cream is sold in a 48oz tub and has a suggested retail price of $7.99-$8.49.

"Consumers are looking for flavour variety in a personal indulgence size that allows them to try several at a time. We are responding to consumer demand for this line by expanding it."

He added: "Consumers are passionate about vanilla and our vanilla bean and French vanilla are top sellers. Our new old fashioned vanilla will provide a third classic option that is crafted for everything from ice cream recipes to milkshakes."

Founded in 2004, Alden's produces a range of ice cream pints, sandwiches and bars. Last month, the brand announced the launched a range of dairy-free frozen desserts that feature a blend of brown rice, oat flour, coconut oil and pea protein.

LIC inks deal to acquire 50% of farm management firm Afimilk

New Zealand-based dairy cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has secured a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Israeli farm management company Afimilk for NZD 108.7 million ($69.1 million).

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LIC, which is partly owned by Fonterra, said the proposed deal will help it keep its edge in pastoral dairy farming data while broadening access to new information to meet future needs and challenges.

Afimilk develops, manufactures and markets systems to manage dairy farms and is active in more than 50 countries. For fiscal 2019, the company's revenues were $55 million and its EBITDA was $9 million.

As part of the deal, private equity firm Fortissimo is selling its entire 30.8% holding in Afimilk and Kibbutz Afikim is selling 19.2% of the company. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020.

LIC chair Murray King says the investment will help give LIC access to the data it needs to deliver superior herd improvement services for New Zealand farmers.

"It will help ensure LIC's on-going access to pastoral dairy farming data through the increased use of in-line milk meters and animal monitoring systems (such as collars)," he said.

"We believe there are likely to be further development opportunities for in-line milk meters, to increase LIC's resilience to the threat of disruption to access to pastoral dairy farming data posed as a result of the move away from traditional herd-testing services.

"The investment will also help to drive future growth by opening LIC's access to data on other farming methods beyond pastoral held by Afimilk."

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