Food Business News - August 22, 2017 - 44
Enhancing dairy's health halo
Clean label takes a different, yet
somewhat parallel spin in the dairy
department. After all, fluid milk is a
local-farm sourced product. But what
about the sourcing of the other ingredients that go into dairy foods such as
cheese, ice cream and yogurt?
That is why for Arla Foods Inc., Basking Ridge, N.J., the meaning of clean label
also goes beyond the ingredients list.
"It's not only about having ingredients a shopper can recognize, it's also
about knowing where those ingredients
come from, if the company you're buying
from actually is the producer and how
that company goes about its business,"
said Don Stohrer, head of U.S. operations
for Arla. "Is it done responsibly, sustainably and in an environmentally friendly
manner? Those are questions the consumer is asking these days. Quite simply,
we at Arla believe people have a right to
know what's in their food and how it is
Arla is a Denmark-based dairy
Food Business News
cooperative started in the 1880s. It is
owned by 12,500 farmers across Europe
and a network of partner farmers in the
"We've always had a steadfast business philosophy that has remained true
through the myriad consumer eating
trends and fads, the rise of food industrialization, seismic shifts in the retail and
food industries and the 'good for you/
bad for you' nutrition 'wars,'" Mr. Stohrer
Arla-branded products started appearing
in supermarket dairy aisles, its sliced
cheese business has shown significant
growth and consumer adoption, as it is
up more than 200% compared to a year
Fortunately for the dairy industry,
clean label formulations are one of its
strengths. For example, Daisy Brand,
Dallas, markets both full-fat and light
sour cream that is made with only
For Arla Foods, the meaning of clean label goes beyond the ingredient list and extends to traceability.
ARLA FOODS INC.
relationship to the farmers who grew the
ingredients, the team members who made
it and the partners who made it possible."
Juice labels state "cold pressed in the
Midwest with local produce." You won't
find organic or non-G.M.O. claims on
Here's products. The attributes are important to the company, but it's the local
qualities that are most important.
"In order for food to scale, we need to
create demand for more product, and that
demand has to be there 365 days a year,"
said Nate Laurell, c.e.o. of Here. "By using
Midwestern fruits and vegetables from
Illinois, Indiana and Michigan in a retail
capacity year-round, this line of products
will allow us to reach thousands more
stores than by just selling seasonal produce alone. It seems so simple, and yet it's
something that has not been done. This
is a footprint we plan to replicate over
the next five years in markets around
the country, and we hope to impact other
local growing regions on a national scale.
Ultimately, we want real food grown
everywhere for everyone."
It is Mr. Laurell's belief that by using
local produce to create retail products,
the business model will solve a problem
that has plagued the local food industry.
It will create a longer shelf life, which
will in turn allow Here to purchase a
much larger quantity of product from
Midwestern farms. It is a win/win scenario for all involved.
said. "Simply, Arla's mission is to produce
and provide the best quality dairy products in the world, free from any artificial
flavors or preservatives, all while promoting sustainable dairy farming practices
and strict animal welfare standards.
"Consumers today are farther away
than ever from how and where their
food is produced, so there's an increasing demand for more transparent food
practices and simpler foods. And because
of how far away society has gotten from
the source of our food, there's a lot of
confusion out there today."
Arla is trying to provide the consumer with useful information to help
them make an informed decision when
purchasing products. The company has
always followed the philosophy of "the
simpler, the better." That is demonstrated in the company's simple ingredients
"We set out to invigorate a product
category historically controlled by a
single brand," Mr. Stohrer said. "Our
short ingredient list - the cream, milk,
salt and cheese culture - has struck
a chord with consumers looking for
simple, great-tasting alternatives. In fact,
according to retailer data, Arla cream
cheese purchases are 20% incremental
to the overall cream cheese category,
adding fresh new growth to a previously
stagnant part of the dairy aisle."
In the less than two years since
cultured cream and milk or cream. Its
cottage cheese has one additional ingredient: salt. Products carry the tagline:
"Better Ingredients. That's the Daisy
"Dairy consumers generally have
an opinion that milk and products made
from milk, are clean, simple, pure, fresh
from the farm," said Cindy Sorensen,
Midwest Dairy Association, St. Paul,
Clean label and animal welfare
The same is mostly true for the meat
and poultry department. But there, because shoppers are purchasing the actual
animal, clean label includes transparency in sourcing and the farm's practices.
Packages of meat and poultry -
uncooked and prepared - increasingly
are featuring claims associated with the
animal's diet and welfare. Processors are
working with farmers and ranchers to
understand their operations and communicate this to consumers on product
packaging and web sites.
Pasture One, Petaluma, Calif.,
markets grass-fed and finished beef from
cattle not administered antibiotics or
hormones. In addition to conveying this
on package labels, the company provides
"ranch of origin" information, which
identifies the specific ranch where the
August 22, 2017