Chinese dairy giant Yili will pay $588 million for dairy co-op Westland Milk, it was announced overnight.
In China, butter’s demand is fuelled by craving for ‘muddy buns’ or ‘dirty dirty bread’ (zang zang bao in China).
Fonterra general manager marketing, global foodservice, Susan Cassidy describes ‘dirty dirty bread’ as a chocolate croissant.
“People love the flaky chocolate pastry coated in rich chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cocoa powder,” Cassidy says.
“It makes it impossible to keep your face clean while eating. They are popular with celebrities who have taken to social media to share images of their ‘muddy bun face’ experience.”
Cassidy says demand for butter is as strong as ever. People want natural products and they are prepared to pay for them.
“Even in temperatures of minus ten degrees, crowds of people are queuing for hours to get their hands on their ‘muddy bun’.”
Fonterra Edgecumbe is commissioning a new butter line to double the factory’s butter sheet production from 4500 tonnes to 7000t.
Operations manager Allan Muggeridge says the first butter sheet will roll off the new butter line on September 1.
“We’ve been watching demand for butter build for a number of years. The building part of the project started in May so it’s been a quick turnaround to get it up and running,” says Muggeridge.
Fifteen local contractors are working on the site expansion. The plant employs 380 people.