KANSAS CITY — While the market for dairy alternatives may draw most of the attention lately, the market for dairy ingredients remains robust and active as ingredient manufacturers differentiate, start new initiatives and introduce new ingredients.
Darigold, Inc., Seattle, a cooperative of farmers in the Pacific Northwest, has made organizational changes with the goal of launching a dairy ingredients business. The company is in the process of selecting a location for a new ingredients plant that will be announced in 2021.
The new initiative is part of a 10-year growth plan the co-op developed in 2018. Capital investments like the new ingredient plant are part of the growth strategy, Darigold said.
Joe Coote will join the cooperative on Nov. 1 as president of global ingredients. The position is new to Darigold. Mr. Coote was most recently with Fonterra, where he was director of global supply chain, director of global optimization in New Zealand and president of the Americas, which is based in Chicago.
“Joe will be instrumental in leading the development and execution of our global ingredients business,” said Stan Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Darigold. “His leadership profile and experience are uniquely suited to both our team culture and our business goals. We could not be more thrilled to have him on board to continue our expansion in the global marketplace and increased focus on customers.”
Grant Kadavy will transition from his role as chief operating officer to become Darigold’s chief growth and risk officer. He will spearhead the launch of the new ingredients plant and be responsible for integrating the new products and services into the rest of the cooperative’s businesses.
While Darigold is in the initial phases of building its dairy ingredients business, DFA Ingredient Solutions, a business unit of Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, Kan., has launched an e-commerce platform that allows manufacturers to order smaller quantities of its dairy ingredients.
The new platform initially will feature dairy-based ingredients, including seasoning blends, specialty powders and concentrated pastes. Previously only available in larger quantities, food manufacturers can purchase as little as 50-lb bags of specialty powders and seasoning blends, and a 45-lb box of the concentrated pastes.
“We receive many requests from small food manufacturers for specialty ingredients that deliver flavor and texture benefits associated with dairy into their products,” said Carol Willenbring, vice president of marketing and R&D for ingredient solutions. “Our response to these inquiries was to develop an online experience to give these companies access to the same, highly-rated dairy ingredients that leading brands and larger food manufacturers have come to expect from us.”
Alee Rouhani, director of marketing for ingredient solutions, said the new platform adds another path to purchase for customers of DFA Ingredient Solutions.
“It’s another way for somebody to select how they do business with us,” he said.
Mr. Rouhani sees the program evolving beyond seasonings, concentrates and powders. Those ingredients initially were included because the company’s infrastructure could support including them in the platform. But DFA Ingredient Solutions has a full suite of ingredients, and he sees many of them one day being added to the platform.
“This is the ground floor,” Mr. Rouhani said. “We’ve got a lot of room to grow.”
Bluegrass Dairy, Glasgow, Ky., has initiated a rebranding campaign and changed its name to Bluegrass Ingredients. The new name reflects the company’s evolution from a dairy powder producer to a research-driven specialty ingredients provider, according to the company.
Bluegrass Ingredients supplies a range of products beyond dairy powders, including vegan and clean label formulations, citrus powders and custom ingredients.
“We have a long, proud heritage in the dairy industry, and we will continue to deliver high-quality cheese, dairy powders and other dairy-based formulations to our customers,” said Hoyt Huffman, CEO at Bluegrass Ingredients. “But as our customers have evolved, so have our product offerings and our approach. Our new name represents our enhanced focus on a broader range of taste trends and our ability to develop innovative new flavors and formulations to satisfy customer demands.”