Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dairy Rules in 2015!

(Homemade all-butter shortbread….from my kitchen to yours...baked while blogging, and enjoying all the broken ones with a cold glass of 2% milk!)

From butter to yogurt, and all the amazing dairy foods in between, including cheese, cultured and milk, yes milk, 2015 may be a banner year for dairy foods sales…if you innovate and market well.

Dairy foods are being embraced by today’s consumers, in particular, Millennials. Dairy foods are recognized as inherently nutritious, clean label and naturally functional. Processors who keep formulated dairy foods simple and as close to resembling milk as possible, will find success in 2015 and for many years to come.

The past two weeks I’ve blogged about the importance of pasteurization. Keep doing it! An Australian subscriber sent me this news clipping on how raw milk processors are evading regulations by selling raw milk as “Bath Milk,” a cosmetic. Merchandised in refrigerators next to drinks, consumers are purchasing bath milk, drinking it and getting ill. Scary stuff! See the news item HERE.

In case you missed the power of pasteurization blog, you can read it HERE.

Dairy provides consumers permission to indulge
When discussing how dairy is enjoying a renaissance, New Nutrition Business recently reinforced a phrase I coined a few year back: permission to indulge. The author wrote, “Dairy’s image is getting a boost as science both refutes negatives around dairy fats and uncovers more about the positive effects of dairy consumption…U.S. butter sales have overtaken table spreads as people get ‘permission to indulge’ in more traditional dairy products.”

As I have stated numerous times this past year, milk’s positive nutrition credentials are driving sales of all types of dairy foods. And guess what? It’s not just the protein but also the fat, and not just the dairy fat in butter. It’s the milkfat in cheese, ice cream, cultured, whole milk yogurt and milk. The latest sales data from IRI Custom DMI Market Advantage Database shows that whole milk continues to display positive sales growth nationally (year-to-date, ending Nov. 2, 2014). See graph. 

Source: IRI Custom DMI Market Advantage Database, courtesy Midwest Dairy Association

This presents an opportunity to marry milk and cream with coffee, flavors, tea and beneficial ingredients and market the drink as a “made with real dairy” beverage.

A good example is a product featured this past October. From Ito En North America, Extra Rich Jay Street Coffee is creamier than the original fresh-brewed flavors, giving consumers the option to enjoy a rich and more robust coffee experience.

More recently, Upstate Farms rolled out Custard Shakes. This dairy beverage line comes in two decadent flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla.

(The shortbread are done. I’ve moved onto kolacky, also made with real butter, and better than any Polish bakery!)

Before I sign off for this year—the next Friday blog won’t be until January 9, 2015—please help me recognize the people and companies that keep your Daily Doses of Dairy coming.

For starters…thank YOU! It’s been another amazing year building and the Daily Dose of Dairy. Thanks to all loyal subscribers and a warm welcome to the newer ones! You are part of a rapidly growing (nearly 6,500 subscribers) global community of professionals involved in the development, production, distribution, marketing and merchandising of dairy products and related beverages. and the Daily Dose of Dairy wants to help you sell more--and better--dairy foods. I welcome all comments—positive and constructive—nothing too harsh, I have two teenage boys who do a fine job of telling me everything I’m doing wrong. Feel free to send me an email HERE anytime. It was such feedback that led to the development of the Co-Packers/Product Development Assistance tab that you can access HERE.

This tab debuted in August at the same time I blogged about the benefits in using a co-packer. To read the blog, please link HERE. If you contact any of these companies, please be sure to tell them they were found on my website.

A special thanks goes to the many advertisers and blog sponsors that make BerryOnDairy and the Daily Dose of Dairy possible. Please make sure you thank these businesses. Please send an email to your sales rep and say “Happy Holidays! Thanks for supporting BerryOnDairy and the Daily Dose of Dairy.” To learn more about any of them, you can link to their websites by clicking on the company name.

Thanks goes to:

Have a Merry Berry Dairy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With warm wishes, and a glass of cookies and milk,
Donna Berry (on Dairy)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pasteurization, continued…and Dairy Show 2015

Photo source: Yoplait/General Mills

Last week’s blog on the power of pasteurization was the most tweeted blog I ever wrote. Thank you very much loyal Daily Dose of Dairy subscribers. The topic really resonated with many of you. If you missed the blog, you can link to it HERE.

The topic is very timely, as this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in its Emerging Infectious Diseases journal (January 2015) showing that the average annual number of outbreaks due to drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk more than quadrupled since the last similar study--from an average of three outbreaks per year from 1993 to 2006 to 13 per year from 2007 to 2012. Overall, there were 81 outbreaks in 26 states from 2007 to 2012. The outbreaks, which accounted for about 5% of all foodborne outbreaks with a known food source, sickened nearly 1,000 people and sent 73 to the hospital. More than 80% of the outbreaks occurred in states where selling raw milk was legal. You can access the review HERE.

According to CDC, as more states have allowed the legal sale of raw milk, there has been a rapid increase in the number of raw milk-associated outbreaks. Since 2004, eight additional states have begun allowing the sale of raw milk, bringing the number of states where raw milk sales are legal to 30. At least five additional states allow cow shares--a practice where people can pay a fee for a cow’s care in return for some of the cow’s raw milk--for a total of 10 states as of the most recent survey. If more states begin allowing sales of raw milk, the number of outbreaks and illnesses will continue to rise. CDC recommends against consuming raw milk, especially for people who may be more likely to suffer severe illness (children, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems). More information about health risks associated with raw milk, link HERE.

With 2015 just weeks away, please add The International Dairy Show to your calendar. Make sure you budget for your travels.

This biennial event will take place September 15 to 18, 2015, at McCormick Place in Chicago—home of the Daily Dose of Dairy. And, back by popular demand, the Daily Dose of Dairy will be LIVE at the IDairyShow Theater located in the North Hall. During each day of the four-day expo, there will be a new products and trends presentation focusing on different dairy product categories. The schedule will be announced by early summer. Book your travels so you can attend all four Daily Dose of Dairy LIVE presentations. Each day is different.

As a Chicago native--my entire life, born and raised in the Windy City, not the suburbs, and still in the city proper raising a family—feel free to reach out with any hotel, restaurant and sightseeing questions by emailing me HERE.

Starting in the New Year, I will include a “must see” Chicago travel tip in every Friday blog.   
In addition to Daily Dose of Dairy LIVE returning, so is the Ingredients, Flavorings and Seasonings pavilion, as well as the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest and IDFA Innovations Awards. And new in 2015, IDFA will feature two on-floor classrooms and has added the Distribution and Supply Chain Pavilion.

The show dates and hours are:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15            9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16       9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 17          9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 18               9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The International Dairy Show 2015 is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Here are some pretty impressive numbers to help move you forward in the New Year.

100,000 to 10,000,000
Nearly a quarter of the attendees at the 2013 Dairy Show stated they will realize anywhere between $100,000 to $10 million in profits and cost savings directly from a solution they found at the Dairy Show. Imagine what you can do for your business by bringing your team and attending this event in 2015.

The Dairy Show is teaming up with Process Expo and InterBev—bringing the total attendance to 20,000 colleagues who you can network with.

Your Dairy Show registration gives you access to all three Shows where you can explore 1,000 suppliers offering the latest technology.

The Dairy Show is committed to making your experience the best you’ll have at any show throughout the year and to top the success of the 2013 Show—rated as one of Trade Show Executive Magazine’s top-50 fastest growing shows.

Less than one more month until registration opens! Check the Dairy Show website starting January 7, 2015. Make sure to earmark funds to cover the registration fees and travel for your entire team. Special discounts and benefits are available for groups.

For additional information on the show, link HERE.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pasteurization: It Cleans Up Our Milk Supply

Sometimes we forget why we do something that is part of routine, but when we don’t do it, the reason becomes very apparent--like forgetting to put on deodorant one summer morning. Proper pasteurization of milk is something a dairy processor can NEVER afford to forget.

Pasteurization makes our milk supply safe to drink because it makes it clean. Invented by French scientist Louis Pasteur during the 19th century, pasteurization involves heating milk to a specified temperature and holding it there for a predetermined amount of time in order to destroy all pathogenic (harmful) microorganisms, including E. coli 0157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria and Salmonella. Pasteurization also reduces spoilage microorganisms, and by doing so, prolongs product shelf life.[timestamp]

With consumers demanding more information about their food, including their desire for clean labels and transparency in raw material sourcing, it is important that dairy processors communicate the reason why milk is pasteurized, and that is to make it CLEAN and SAFE. This includes the milk going into other dairy foods, such as cultured products, ice cream and yogurt.

According to a recent national survey, moms are actively reading food labels in search of nutritious, natural and safe foods for their families. (See graphs, courtesy of "Thought for Food" survey conducted by Chr. Hansen.)

To read a recent column I wrote for Food Business News online on raw material and ingredient traceability, which ties into food safety and clean label, link HERE.

The raw milk controversy
In my eyes, there is no raw milk controversy. Raw milk is unsafe. Final. Finish. Amen.

You would think that when Whole Foods Market stopped selling raw milk in early 2010, consumers would understand that the process of pasteurization does not turn milk into processed food, rather it turns it into food safe for human consumption.

(I am not going to spend much time on the topic of raw milk, but here are some resources in case you are curious.)

Attorney William Marler of the food safety law firm Marler Clark, Seattle, grew up on a farm, milking cows and consuming raw milk in the 1970s. Today when he hears the words raw milk, his mind is drawn to images of children sickened by consuming a product that their parents believed had properties that would be good for their child, not bring them to death’s door.

“I have represented several families of children who purchased raw milk directly from the farmer,” says Marler. “The children came away with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria-mediated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, months of hospitalization, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and millions of dollars in risk of future complications, including end-stage renal disease and the need for multiple kidney transplants.”

You can access a PowerPoint presentation by Marler regarding the legal implications of selling raw milk by linking HERE.

Link HERE to read Marker’s blog on “Risky Business – Why would a retailer sell Raw Milk?”

For additional Raw Milk Facts, including information on states that allow the sale of raw milk, link HERE.

Promoting pasteurization
The idea of promoting pasteurization might sound strange at first, but then it makes sense when you realize you are letting consumers know that you have cleaned their milk of all dangerous microorganisms. It’s a perfect fit for the clean-label trend.

Check out what Whole Foods Market says about pasteurization and raw milk on its website by linking HERE.

There are two basic proven methods of pasteurization. The original, and most common, is referred to as HTST (high temperature/short time). This process involves heating raw milk to 161°F for at least 15 seconds. For a lengthier product shelf life, there’s UHT (ultra-high temperature) pasteurization. This process involves heating raw milk to 280°F for at least 2 seconds.

Interestingly, earlier this week, the Berkeley Wellness newsletter published by the University of California featured an article on low-temperature pasteurized milk. It can be accessed HERE.

The author describes the process as “vat” or “batch” pasteurization, and an acceptable way to pasteurize milk. The process involves heating raw milk in small batches to a lower temperature for a longer time (145°F for 30 minutes) and then rapidly cooling it. This process is said to better preserve the flavor of milk. This approach has become somewhat trendy as more small dairy processors try to appeal to shoppers seeking farm-fresh milk that is clean and safe.

A few weeks ago I made a dairy products innovation presentation to a group of dairy processors in Oregon, a state where farm sales of raw milk are legal, but not retail sales. These processors are real movers and shakers. Sunshine Dairy Foods impressed me with the story it tells on the side of its milk cartons regarding its pasteurization process, most notably, what it calls “Exp. Dates 101.”

This section reads: Don’t judge a milk by its “expiration” date. Sunshine milk isn’t hyper-cooked or over-processed, so it won’t have the latest date on the shelf—just the freshest flavor possible. Trust us, it’s a good trade-off.

This is an attribute that works well for the company’s distribution region. Of course, all pasteurization serves a purpose, and in some cases, this is to ensure safety and quality for longer periods of time, based on distribution and a market’s needs. Food deserts and food banks benefit from long-life milk products, including aseptically packaged milk, which is UHT-processed, packaged in a sterile environment and does not require refrigeration until opened.

Regardless of the pasteurization process your dairy employs, it makes sense to communicate to consumers why it is pasteurized. And again, that is to keep it clean and safe. Make it a point to talk about pasteurization to your consumers in 2015. Be transparent with them. They will be happy to know you have their back.[timestamp]