New Zealand dairy group Fonterra will spend NZD$20 million ($14.2 million) in expanding its Te Rapa factory to meet growing demand for butter and cream cheese in Asia.
The extended factory will go from six cream product lines to eight including an additional cream cheese line and will increase plant capacity from 30,000 to 33,500 tonnes.
A new butter line will also be added to more than double the production of mini-dish butter products from 250 million to 650 million per year.
Fonterra’s chief operating officer of global operations, Robert Spurway, said the growth in demand was further demonstration of a shift in food preferences in China and across wider Asia.
“Much of the demand we’re seeing for products like the mini-dish butter is from hotels, restaurants and commercial kitchens in China – all out-of-home eating experiences where consumers are choosing dairy to complement their meal.”
Spurway added: “Where in the past, many of these markets have trended towards non-dairy creams and spreads, we’re seeing a real desire for natural dairy in both food preparation and at the table.
“And while the foodservice aspects are important, it is the latter that is really exciting – consumers actively choosing to incorporate more dairy into their daily diets.”
China is leading demand for Fonterra’s consumer and foodservice businesses, with a 40 per cent increase in volumes for the financial year so far compared with the same period last year.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019