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Organic Value Proposition for Dairy Producers

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Organic dairy is even better for you than originally thought — that was the key takeaway from a recent study conducted by (WSU) researcher Charles Benbrook, which discovered new benefits from eating and drinking whole-milk organic dairy.

The study compared conventional milk with organic milk from Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative dairies, which supply all of the milk used in products made by Stonyfield Farm, the top U.S. organic yogurt maker. The results found that in comparison with conventional dairy, organic whole milk had a much better concentration of the essential fatty acids that can aid brain and heart health.

Such findings are fantastic news indeed for value-added dairy producers, which are always on the lookout for ways to differentiate their offerings and keep sales flowing in the dairy section.

As noted in a September 2013 study by Waltham, Massachusetts.-based global marketing technology company Affinnova Inc., Greek yogurt, already a sensation in the dairy case, has the potential to become the next supertrend, with product ideas that could extend it across new categories in food, health and beauty, and baby care.

But even as they’re poised to make the leap into other parts of the store, Greek offerings continue to mount in the dairy case. Among them is Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt, billed by the brand as the first and only 100-calorie authentic strained Greek yogurt made with only natural ingredients. To achieve the optimal balance of taste, calories and nutrition, the product contains a proprietary blend of three natural sweeteners: monk fruit, stevia leaf extract and evaporated cane juice.

“Until now, consumers looking for a 100-calorie Greek yogurt with natural ingredients haven’t had an option,” notes , founder and CEO of New Berlin, New.York-based Chobani.

“The light yogurt segment represents roughly 20 percent of the overall category, and Greek light is the fastest-growing segment, at more than 300 percent in the last 24 weeks year over year, according to Nielsen,” adds Peter McGuinness, the company’s chief marketing and brand officer, who referred to the new product line as “a significant innovation in a 20-year-old category.”

Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt is available in 5.3-ounce single-serve cups in Blueberry, Strawberry, Pineapple, Peach, Black Cherry and Vanilla flavors; 4-count multipacks; and a 32-ounce size in Vanilla.

Additionally, Breakstone’s has introduced the first-ever national brand of Greek-style sour cream. Consisting of the brand’s traditional sour cream blended with authentic Greek strained yogurt, the product has 50 percent less fat, 40 percent less cholesterol, and twice the calcium and protein of regular sour cream.

The item, available in a 16-ounce container, can be substituted for traditional sour cream when making dips, side dishes, entrées and desserts; in common with all of Breakstone’s products, it can be used for cooking, as it doesn’t curdle when heated.

Since they debuted on holiday tables back in 1958, Keller’s Butter Sculptures have become a festive American tradition. This past holiday season, Keller’s Creamery, owned by Kansas City, Missouri-based Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), brought out advanced packaging for its Christmas tree butter sculpture, with the repackaged Easter lamb and Thanksgiving turkey due in 2014.

The new packaging includes a molded plastic casing with easy-open tabs that permit convenient access to the butter. Pouring the butter directly into the plastic allows for greater detail to important features of the sculptures, like the tree’s branches and the turkey’s feathers.

New packaging was also on the agenda for DFA’s Plugrá European-Style Butter, which in time for the 2013 holiday season introduced a convenient table-friendly tub. The container enables at-home chefs who regularly use the slow-churned, 82 percent butterfat product in baking to add it to everyday dishes as well. The tub launch was supported through retail-level promotions and point-of-sale marketing.

Meanwhile, Land O’Lakes has expanded its hit Sauté Express Sauté Starters, all-in-one combinations of seasoned butter, herbs and spices that can be added to any vegetable or protein, with Teriyaki, which features ginger and sesame.

Already available in Garlic & Herb, Italian Herb, Lemon Pepper, and Savory Butter & Olive Oil varieties, the product comes in a one-flavor package of six 1-ounce squares, with each square able to cook one-half pound of protein.