Despite high fat prices it is now more profitable for Fonterra to make whole milk powder than butter and skim milk powder, co-op chairman John Wilson says.
In a claimed industry-first, the co-op has launched packaging for high-quality milk fats (AMFs).
As an alternative to the industry norm of storing the light-shy product in giant drums or frozen packs, it has developed 15L cardboard packs that stack and handle easily and can be stored at room temperature.
AMF is a butter alternative used in ice cream, confectionary, baked goods and others.
Fonterra Dairy Foods category director Casey Thomas says Fonterra saw a need to pack AMF conveniently without refrigeration, and airtight. It overcame oxidation challenges and worked with packaging firm Sealed Air (NZ) to develop a foil barrier bag with a specially designed valve to keep light and oxygen out.
The lightweight 15L cartons are easy to handle and can be efficiently and safely warehoused, saving costs on refrigeration, storage and transport.
A new manufacturing process quickly chills the AMF to create a fine texture and allows customers to scoop it straight from the box without needing to melt it first.
Says Casey, “This new packaging is hugely beneficial to small bakeries and artisan food manufacturers: more convenient and cost-efficient in smaller amounts that match the volumes they need.”
A customer in Taiwan has signed to buy, and customers in Algeria, South Africa and Peru are interested.
Fonterra general manager Taiwan, Sera Cheng, says the co-op has been selling AMF to customers there for 20 years and “we know our customers welcome the new, easy-to-open format”.
The first shipment of the cardboard packs has landed in Taiwan and has withstood being shipped.
“Based on our pre-launch customer survey, our customers can’t wait to receive the new packs,” Cheng says.
The new packaging will save the co-op manufacturing costs.
AMF is high quality, 99.9% pure milk fat derived from fresh cream by a mechanical process that removes almost all the water and non-fat solids.
NZMP AMF adds a dairy flavour and creaminess to food and drink products, e.g. chocolate, confectionary, ice cream, baking, processed cheese and other milk products.