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Asia Pacific: Fonterra to build two cheese plants

Fonterra announces plans for two new cream cheese plants at its Darfield site in Canterbury, New Zealand.

With cream cheese undergoing a steady surge in popularity in Asia, the US$150 million two-stage project will see the first plant completed in 2018 with a second to follow in either 2019 or 2020.

The two new plants will incorporate Fonterra-first technology that will allow the firmness and consistency of the cream cheese they produce to be dialled up or down to meet customer preference.

“What’s really promising are the trends we’re seeing in cheese, butter and ultra heat temperature over the years – not just in the sale of dairy products, but how they are being consumed,” says director of global foodservice, Grant Watson.

“Particularly as the major urban centres in China shift away from oils, people are actively seeking more dairy in their diet whether in their cooking, as a table spread or in a glass.”

“In markets like China – where dairy hasn’t traditionally been a staple – there are fewer pre-conceived notions around how it should be eaten, and with that we’re seeing remarkable versatility in their dairy applications.”

Dairy beverages such as tea macchiato – which mixes tea with cream and cream cheese – are evidence of a willingness to be bolder with dairy applications, says Watson.