Top Stories

Sports nutrition is key market for growth of whey proteins

September 22, 2017

By Alyssa Mitchell

CHICAGO — From food products to pharmaceutical applications and even pet nutrition — increasing uses for whey proteins are exploding.

At this week’s International Whey Conference in Chicago, experts shared challenges and opportunities for whey proteins in the global marketplace. In one Monday afternoon session, panelists delved into the evolution of one of the fastest-growing segments of whey protein use — sports nutrition and recovery.

Monday’s session was chaired by Suzane Leser, head of nutrition, Volac Human Nutrition, at Volac International Ltd., United Kingdom.

Leser notes there is a lot of research still to be done on whey protein in sports nutrition. In a Tuesday morning plenary session, Leser shared findings of consumer research from the European Whey Processors Association, including that very few consumers can connect whey protein to “why” they exercise, and manufacturers need to surmount this hurdle to communicate and sell whey protein to these consumers.

“We have a real opportunity to bring whey protein to the mind of these consumers to connect to ‘why’ they exercise,” Leser says.

Meanwhile, in Monday’s sports nutrition session, Nick Morgan, director at Sports Integrated in Windsor, United Kingdom, noted the evolution of sports nutrition is a large contributor to the growth of whey proteins. As this growth continues at a rapid pace, stakeholders need to carefully consider trends to inform future innovation, he says.

Morgan says companies are honing in on “active consumers” — those who are exercising regularly but are looking more at endurance than bulk muscle building and are utilizing protein for maximum performance.

As sports nutrition goes more mainstream, consumers also are working to lessen the effects of aging on muscle strength and movement, he adds.

“Sports nutrition, as a descriptor, has become a capture-all term,” Morgan says, noting the focus is moving from solely nutritional products into wider occasions. For example, healthy snacking is a big area of growth in sports nutrition and long-term health and wellness.

Innovation is focused largely on maximizing the role of natural ingredient food for healthy snacking, as well as drink applications with health benefits, he adds.

Consumers should not be defined by what they do, but why they do it, Morgan notes. Some are performance-oriented while others are health-oriented.

Performance-oriented consumers tend to focus more on nutrients, science, technical aspects and rituals, while health-oriented consumers focus more on food, emotions, natural living and impulse, he explains.

Three sub-markets of sports nutrition are driven by different roles and drivers, he adds.

Performance nutrition looks at optimizing performance and pushing physical limits; health and wellness looks at better nutrition; and active nutrition is more about consumers’ desire to be “ageless,” a key emerging market, Morgan says.

Oliver Witard, senior lecturer in health sciences and sport at the University of Stirling in Scotland, says muscle reconditioning is at the core of performance nutrition, active nutrition, and health and wellness.

It would behoove stakeholders to identify future directions for the whey protein industry in terms of the muscle reconditioning market, he adds.

Age is a key determinant of the “optimum” dose of whey protein for maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, Witard says.

He notes new recommendations from international expert groups call for higher daily protein intake in older adults — but the challenge for consumers is meeting these recommendations. Habitual protein intakes of older adults in the United States, for example, is not meeting recommended levels.

He adds that research shows whey protein hydrolysate ingestion after exercise stimulates a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared with a comparable amino acid source.

A recent survey commissioned by Arla Foods Ingredients also found that nearly two-thirds of consumers worldwide who exercise regularly and who are aware of whey protein hydrolysates believe they are superior to normal whey proteins for sports nutrition. (See “Active consumers think hydrolysates are better than standard proteins, research shows” in last week’s issue.)

Witard says future industry-academic partnerships on protein quality and muscle reconditioning could focus on questions including:

• Is whey protein advantageous over other protein sources for high-quality weight loss in weight-class athletes?

• What is the optimal dose of whey protein for maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis in older adults?

• Is whey protein better for the synthesis of all body proteins, including muscle, in active children?

• Is whey protein supplementation during forced energy deficit (pre-surgery, military, high altitude exposure) superior to other protein sources for preserving muscle mass?

• What is the role of bioactive peptides (derived from hydrolysing protein) for regulating muscle protein synthesis in humans?

Witard also discussed the “threat” of emerging alternative or plant-based protein sources to the whey protein industry.

In terms of protein quality, whey supplements confer an advantage over other protein sources with regard to muscle reconditioning — including protein digestibility, leucine content and more, Witard says.

Research shows whey protein ingestion after resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than other protein sources — like carbohydrates or soy — in resistance-trained young men, he says.

Still, the industry is challenged by controversial headlines such as “Plant protein found to be better than animal protein for building muscle,” “Wheat protein rivals whey for muscle growth, study suggests” and “Plant-animal protein blend boosts post-workout muscles: study.”

Witard cited examples of how looking more deeply into the methodology and results of these studies make headlines like this misleading.

Meanwhile, Gareth Wallis, exercise scientist with the school of sport, exercise and rehabilitation sciences at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, discussed new opportunities for whey products in sports nutrition.

Looking at whey permeate, Wallis notes the majority of the composition is carbohydrates (76-85 percent), and suggests there is potential for permeate and lactose in the sports nutrition market.

He acknowledges the ongoing “food fight” between a high carb or low carb diet, but adds that “maybe we can abandon the idea that one diet is significantly better than another for everyone in all conditions? There is a time and place, and what is best depends on the individual and his goals.”

Rounding out the session, Thom Huppertz, expertise group leader of dairy technology for NIZO, the Netherlands, discussed the importance of processing.

Raw material sourcing and ingredient manufacture play a large role in products’ appearance, he says, and challenges for whey products can include cloudiness or the development of protein aggregates(cotton like clumps) after days of storage.

Consumers ideally want clear whey protein beverages, he says. It is important to consider the source of they whey (cheese, caseinate, etc.) and possibly pre-treatments of milk and whey, he adds.

Crucial aspects include consideration of the environment (pH, etc.), the (natural) variation in raw materials and product process interactions, he says.


Variety of Hispanic cheeses hold further growth potential

September 22, 2017

Editor’s Note: “Cheese of the Month” is Cheese Market News’ exclusive profile series exploring various cheese types. Each month, CMN highlights a different cheese in this feature, giving our readers a comprehensive look at production, marketing, sales and in-depth aspects of each profiled cheese type. Please read on to learn about this month’s featured cheeses: Hispanic varieties.

By Stephanie Awe

MADISON, Wis. — Hispanic cheeses, — ranging from spreadable Requeson, to semi-soft cheeses such as Queso Fresco and Oaxaca, to hard cheeses such as Cotija — have a multitude of applications with potential to gain further traction among consumers.

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Dairy Products 2016 Summary, more than 266 million pounds of Hispanic cheeses were produced in the United States in 2016.

Among the many Hispanic cheese varieties, Queso Fresco has the largest volume share in U.S. retail multi-outlet and convenience stores, with 62-percent share — up 10.8 percent volume from a year ago (fixed weight only, latest 52 weeks as of July 16, 2017), according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data courtesy of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).

To make Queso Fresco, culture typically is added to pasteurized milk at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit to start cheesemaking, says David McCoy, managing director, Dairy Insights LLC, Muskego, Wisconsin. Coagulant is added and the milk is allowed to set for 30 to 40 minutes or until a relatively firm curd has developed.

Next, the curd is cut into cubes and the whey is allowed to separate. The vat can now be gently stirred, and the temperature can be increased up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit if a drier cheese is desired. Typically, Queso Fresco has 50- to 60-percent moisture — although there are no U.S. federal standards for any Hispanic cheese, according to McCoy — and care should be taken during this step to limit whey removal, he says.

After about an hour, the whey is drained from the vat, and the curd is carefully salted, milled and transferred to molds for pressing. Pressing is done with light pressure and may last four to six hours depending on the desired moisture and firmness of the cheese, McCoy says. The final cheese is removed from the molds, wrapped and immediately refrigerated for storage and distribution.

“Typically, Queso Fresco is a high pH cheese (5.3 to 6.7) due to the low amount of acidification by the culture during manufacturing,” McCoy says. “This makes plant sanitation especially important, as there are fewer hurdles to growth by spoilage and pathogenic organisms.”

McCoy notes that many culture manufacturers sell bioprotective cultures — or cultures that produce a bateriocin or other inhibitors to Listeria growth ­— that should be considered to further improve safety for Queso Fresco due to its high pH and moisture.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy offers three overarching areas to help cheese producers make safe cheeses, including — but not limited to — Queso Fresco. It offers workshops, guides and research to help manufacturers of all sizes gain access to this information.

The center does not offer training specific to Hispanic cheeses, but a majority of its research projects focus on Queso Fresco because it is the “hardest nut to crack,” says Tim Stubbs, vice president of product research and food safety for DMI, noting that if a food safety tactic works for Queso Fresco, it will likely work for other cheeses. Stubbs emphasizes that Queso Fresco is treated like all other products in the fact that prevention is addressed.

• Retail sales

In U.S. retail, Hispanic cheese sales reached 83.8 million pounds in the latest 52 weeks as of July 16, 2017, (fixed weight only, U.S. multi-outlet and convenience stores), according to IRI data.

U.S. retail sales for Hispanic cheeses are up 10.1 percent from a year ago. Volume sales have grown each year over the last five years, with double-digit gains during the last two years, according to IRI.

Hispanic cheese volume is growing in retail outlets throughout the United States, with the highest growth in the Plains region, up 20.3 percent, according to the data (multi-outlet and convenience stores, fixed weight only, latest 52 weeks as of July 16, 2017).

While Queso Fresco has the largest volume share, Queso Quesadilla holds 7-percent share and is up 30.1 percent in the latest 52 weeks as of July 16, 2017. Manchego and Enchilado cheeses also are gaining sales, according to IRI.

The majority of Hispanic cheese — 92 percent — is sold under a national brand, and about 8 percent volume share is sold under private label (latest 52 weeks ending July 9, 2017). However, private label volume sales were up 23.7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the data.

• Offerings and trends

Some companies have found a niche working with Hispanic dairy products, offering wide varieties of cheeses across different outlets.

Founders of Nuestro Queso, Rosemont, Illinois, started in 2009 with a passion to become a primary provider of Hispanic cheese. Translating to “Our Cheese,” Nuestro Queso began by conducting research on styles and types of Hispanic cheeses, holding focus groups in California, Texas, on the East Coast and in the Midwest, says Mark Braun, president and CEO, Nuestro Queso. From there, the company formulated the authentic recipes it now offers, including cheeses such as Queso Fresco, Cotija, Oaxaca, Manchego, Para Freir, Panela, Requeson, Queso Blanco and Duro Seco, among others. These cheeses are categorized across different lines that correlate to their area of origin, including Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

While the company started by offering only its Nuestro Queso line of products, it began to expand into private label and co-packing around 2012 because it saw the market moving in that direction.

At W&W Dairy Inc., Monroe, Wisconsin, a second-generation family-owned business that focuses on Hispanic cheese manufacture, most cheeses are sold under private label as well. However, a small portion is sold under the company’s own brand name, “Queso Del Ray,” says Ryan Webster, director of sales, W&W Dairy.

W&W Dairy’s largest regions of sale are in Chicago, Houston and the New York and New Jersey areas — mostly in retail, although the company also is working to expand into foodservice, Webster says.

W&W Dairy’s main offerings are Queso Fresco, Cotija and Quesadilla cheeses, with sizes varying from 7 ounces up to 60-pound wheels.

In addition, the company offers cheeses in kilo sizes, with 1-kilo (2.2 pounds), 1/2-kilo and 1/4-kilo sizes being the most popular, Webster says.

Webster says Cotija and Queso Fresco are the company’s highest selling cheeses, noting that Queso Fresco is gaining popularity. This, he says, could be partly due to the fact that Fresco typically is less expensive in a price-conscientious market.

Meanwhile, popularity of cheeses vary by region for Nuestro Queso, Braun says. For example, Queso Fresco is the company’s highest seller in some regions, but Queso Blanco is the highest seller in other areas. Braun notes he also has noticed a growth in Cotija across private label, foodservice and other channels.

At Cacique Inc., Monrovia, California, the most popular cheese variety is “by far” Queso Fresco, says Christopher Hannigan, vice president of marketing, Cacique.

Other fresh cheeses the company makes include Panela and Queso Blanco. Robust cheeses include Cotija and Enchilado, and melting cheeses include Manchego, Quesadilla and Asadero, he adds.

The company distributes nationally through retail, foodservice and industrial channels, with the greatest demand in independent grocery stores catering to the core Hispanic consumer, Hannigan says.

• Applications and innovations

Applications for Hispanic cheeses span wide, and the cheeses show potential for further growth and innovation.

The California Milk Advisory Board provides recipe ideas for Hispanic cheeses on its website, such as using Queso Fresco in a breakfast torta with a fried egg, trying Oaxaca as a pizza cheese, or sprinkling Cotija cheese atop of popcorn. Other ideas include utilizing Asadero in grilled cheese sandwiches, topping avocado toast with Panela or Queso Blanco and more.

Queso Fresco can be used as a topping, garnish or filling, Hannigan says, adding that typical applications for the cheese are topping it on enchiladas, tacos and tostadas, or using it as a filling in enchiladas and tortas.

Snacking is a prominent and growing use for some Hispanic cheeses — although Queso Fresco is not necessarily one of them, Braun notes. Instead, the company is working on creating Queso Fresco with flavoring such as jalapeno, in addition to a spreadable format.

“(We’re looking at) expanding use of the cheese, thereby expanding its appeal and crossover outside of the Hispanic market,” Braun says.

A Hispanic cheese that does lend itself to snacking is Oaxaca, says Arturo Nava, marketing director, Nuestro Queso, noting that the company offers the cheese in string and shredded form, demonstrating its convenience.

Cotija, a cheese that anecdotally is growing in popularity, is “very” popular when corn-on-the-cob season comes around, Webster notes.

As for Queso Fresco, he says it is seen on Mexican street corn and fajitas. It also is a good frying cheese because it does not melt, he adds.

In addition, W&W Dairy will have a new package style coming soon — a standup pouch with a zipper on it. Prior to this, the company stuck with traditional packaging, but Webster says he estimates the next generation of the company’s primarily Hispanic clientele is interested in less traditional packaging.

Furthermore, Braun notes that Hispanic cheeses are increasingly being adopted by Anglo buyers and consumers.

“We’re trying to be a part of that,” he says, adding that with more formats, convenience and uses, Hispanic cheese may become more “mainstream.”

“Hispanic cheeses are where Italian (cheeses) were 40 years ago,” Braun says.


U.S. milk production in August climbs 2 percent

September 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — Milk production in the 23 major milk-producing states during August totaled 17.01 billion pounds, up 2.1 percent from August 2016, according to data released this week by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Milk Production chart on page 23.)

July revised production, at 17.22 billion pounds, was up 2.1 percent from July 2016. The July revision represents an increase of 31 million pounds or 0.2 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,948 pounds for August, 26 pounds above August 2016. This is the highest production per cow for the month of August since the 23-state series began in 2003.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.73 million head, 66,000 head more than August 2016 but unchanged from July 2017.

For the entire United States, milk production during August was an estimated 18.05 billion pounds, up 2.0 percent from August 2016. Production per cow in the United States averaged 1,919 pounds for August, 24 pounds above August 2016. The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.41 million head, 71,000 head more than August 2016 but unchanged from July 2017.

California led the nation’s milk production with 3.27 billion pounds in August, down 0.7 percent from its production in August 2016. The state was home to 1.75 million cows in August, down 13,000 head from a year earlier and down 1,000 head from July 2016. Production per cow was the same as in August 2016 at 1,870 pounds.

Wisconsin followed with 2.59 billion pounds of milk produced in August, up 1.8 percent from its production a year earlier. There were 1.28 million cows on Wisconsin farms in August, unchanged from a year earlier and unchanged from a month earlier. Production per cow in August was 2,025 pounds, up 35 pounds from August 2016.


Dairy stakeholders spotlight concerns over GIs in CETA

September 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — The European Union-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was provisionally implemented this week. Dairy stakeholders note of deep concern to the U.S. dairy industry is the automatic protection the European Union (EU) gained for five generic cheese names: “asiago,” “feta,” “fontina,” “gorgonzola” and “munster.”

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) says the EU once again has used geographical indications (GIs) to erect trade barriers.

U.S. cheese manufacturers that began producing those types of cheeses after Oct. 18, 2013, will be required to add qualifiers, such as “kind,” “type,” “style” and “imitation” for sales in Canada, IDFA notes. These new limitations on the use of generic names clearly violate Canadian intellectual property (IP) procedures and existing international trade commitments, the organization says.

Canada also reallocated 800 metric tons of its 20,412-metric-ton World Trade Organization tariff-rate quota for cheese to the EU. This reallocation further restricts the limited access that U.S. cheese exporters have into the Canadian market, IDFA says.

“The outcome in CETA on GIs goes against the very core of a trade agreement, which is to remove trade barriers — not erect new ones — and allow for greater competition,” says Michael Dykes, president and CEO, IDFA. “We are diligently working to ensure strong provisions that protect generic terms are included in NAFTA 2.0, as well as to discourage Mexico from going down the Canadian path as it negotiates a GIs list with the EU.”

The Consortium for Common Foods Names (CCFN), an international initiative founded and staffed by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) to preserve the right to use generic food names, has done an analysis of EU free trade agreements’ inclusion of GIs and has found that there are potential violations of market access and technical barriers of trade ­— not only in CETA, but in other important trading markets in the world as well, with China, Japan and Mexico now at risk of similarly running afoul of trade commitments, notes Jaime Castaneda, executive director, CCFN.

One of CCFN’s primary goals has been to shine a light on the EU’s practice of slipping GI protections through without a nation’s thorough review of the impact on common names. CCFN has stressed to key nations dealing with the EU that these GI lists hold enormous importance in agricultural trade.

“CCFN is protecting names throughout the world and the U.S. by encouraging companies to put forward trade marks for common names as well as fighting legally in many countries, including the United States, the attempts by the EU to confiscate common names,” Castaneda says. As part of that work, “CCFN, with the support of USDEC, worked closely with the U.S. government to help develop the new intellectual property chapter provisions on GIs and generic terms in TPP that we now aim to see further improved upon within NAFTA 2.0.”


Looking Glass Creamery begins construction of new facility

By Stephanie Awe

COLUMBUS, N.C. — Construction on a second facility for Looking Glass Creamery, owned by husband-and-wife team Andy and Jennifer Perkins, has commenced. The facility will be located in Columbus, North Carolina — in the “agricultural heart” of Polk County — where it will fit well alongside numerous vineyards, wineries, vegetable operations and livestock farms in the area, according to Looking Glass Creamery.

The new facility will include a 2,100-square-foot production area and 1,600 square feet of aging caves, which will have areas for Cheddar and brining in addition to two other small rooms, Jennifer Perkins says.

The new facility will be located on Harmon Dairy, a second-generation cow dairy run by brothers Doug and Alan Harmon, according to Looking Glass Creamery.

Harmon Dairy is a 226-acre farm originally purchased in three parcels by Doug and Alan’s father in 1947. In 2013, the brothers placed the farm, as a whole, under an agricultural conservation easement to keep it intact so that it could not be subdivided and would be protected from development in perpetuity.

The Harmon brothers were committed to seeing the farm continue as a working farm after their retirement and felt that adding on-farm processing of the milk into cheese was a viable way to accomplish that goal, Looking Glass Creamery says. Meanwhile, Looking Glass Creamery had been looking at expansion options for two years, trying to find the right location for their vision and growth.

Click to continue reading...

High global prices, weak U.S. dollar support domestic cheese

September 15, 2017

By Alyssa Mitchell

MADISON, Wis. — Cheddar prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have maintained a range in the mid-$1.40s to $1.70s, and analysts expect that pattern to continue through the fall.

Cheddar barrels, which have fallen from the mid-$1.70s in mid-August, dipped into the $1.40s today, settling at $1.45 per pound. Blocks settled at $1.61 to close out this week.

Mike McCully, owner of The McCully Group LLC, New Buffalo, Michigan, notes barrel cheese supplies continue to be ample to burdensome. He says a slowdown of exports in July along with continued production growth resulted in a sharp jump in cheese stocks by July 31.

“Retail cheese demand, at least through measured channels, has been weak all year,” he says. “Foodservice demand is reported as directionally better. In short, the U.S. cheese market for most of this year has ranged between $1.50 and $1.75, and I expect that to continue through the end of the year.”

Holiday and fourth quarter demand should push prices back toward the $1.75 area at some point this fall, he adds.

Dave Kurzawski, senior broker at INTL FCStone, Chicago, says $1.40 cheese isn’t sustainable now with U.S. prices attractive both here and abroad and the upcoming holidays.

“The question in my mind is, will $1.70s for fresh cheese continue to be a top on the next run, because we ought to see that happen in the next few months,” he says.

USDA’s Dairy Market News says milk supplies for cheesemakers in the Midwest vary by location. Some cheese producers report fairly balanced milk supplies, while others report school pipelines are pulling from supplies. In addition, Southern and Southeastern bottlers, following the flurry of severe weather, have dipped into the milk supplies for some Midwestern cheese plants.

“Cheese demand is mixed. Some Cheddar and/or traditional type cheesemakers report fair to slow demand and have begun to ease production schedules. However, some pizza cheese producers are in an early rush and have increased production. Cheese contacts are cautious as cheese market prices have been far from predictable of late,” Dairy Market News says.

Meanwhile, in its latest “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” (WASDE) report released this week, USDA forecasts cheese prices higher from the previous month’s report. Cheese now is forecast to average $1.610-$1.630 per pound in 2017, up from the forecast of $1.590-$6.10 last month.

However, butter, nonfat dry milk (NDM) and whey prices are forecast lower for 2017 in this month’s report. Butter in 2017 is forecast to average $2.355-$2.395 per pound in this month’s report, down from $2.425-$2.465 last month. NDM is forecast to average $0.880-$0.900, down from $0.885-$0.905 last month, and dry whey is forecast to average $0.445-$0.465, down from $0.455-$0.475 last month.

Demand for butter, primarily in the retail sector, remains healthy for Central region producers, notes Dairy Market News. European exports and purchases have picked up as well. Cream remains available for seasonally active butter production.

“The sliding market prices have some butter contacts questioning when and if CME prices will start to increase. As recently as one month ago, contacts suggested a $3 CME price was a solid possibility. Now, butter contacts are unclear whether the markets will find their stride during the typical fall strong season,” Dairy Market News says.

CME butter, in the upper $2.60 range for much of last month, has fallen into the $2.40s in the past couple of weeks, settling at $2.4475 today.

For 2018 all dairy product prices are forecast lower in USDA’s WASDE report this month, resulting in lower Class III and Class IV milk price projections, USDA says.

Cheese is forecast to average $1.630-$1.730 per pound, down a penny from last month’s report. Butter is forecast to average $2.330-$2.460, down from $2.375-$2.505.

NDM now is forecast to average $0.860-$0.930 per pound, down from $0.905-$0.975 last month. Dry whey is forecast to average $0.410-$0.440, down from $0.445-$0.475.

With recent severe weather in the Southern and Southeast U.S. regions, from a feed perspective, pasture and soybeans could be impacted, says Sara Dorland, managing partner with Ceres Dairy Risk Management LLC, Seattle, noting USDA still is trying to collect data.

Overall, though, feed prices are well supplied, and the latest WASDE report likely outweighs losses from severe weather in Southeastern states, as it relates to dairy.

USDA raised its milk production forecast for 2017 in this week’s WASDE report as increases in milk per cow more than offset a slower rate of milk cow expansion. USDA now forecasts 2017 milk production at 216.0 billion pounds, up from 215.7 billion pounds in last month’s report.

For 2018, the milk production forecast this month is reduced by 2 million pounds to 220.1 billion pounds on slower growth in cow inventories.

The 2017 Class III price is raised as higher forecast cheese prices offset lower whey prices. Class III now is forecast to average $16.05-$16.25 per hundredweight in 2017, up from $15.90-$16.10 last month. The 2017 Class IV price is reduced on lower butter and NDM to $15.40-$15.70, down from $15.75-$16.05 last month. The all-milk price forecast in 2017 is reduced to $17.70-$17.90, down from $17.80-$18.00.

Meanwhile, fat basis exports in 2017 are down 100 million pounds from the previous month’s forecast to 9.2 billion pounds on slowing cheese shipments, while 2017 fat basis imports are raised 100 million pounds to 6.1 billion pounds on increased purchases of butterfat, USDA says.

On a skim-solids basis, the export forecast for 2017 is lowered 100 million pounds to 40.6 billion pounds on weaker-than-expected skim milk powder sales, while the 2017 import forecast is raised 100 million pounds to 6.4 billion pounds due to stronger demand for a number of dairy products, according to the report.

For 2018, the fat basis export forecast is unchanged from last month at 9.2 billion pounds, but the import forecast is reduced 100 million pounds to 5.7 billion pounds on expected declining cheese imports, USDA says. The skim-solids basis 2018 export forecast is reduced 300 million pounds from last month to 41.8 billion pounds as competition in international powder markets is expected to remain strong. Skim-solids imports in 2018 are forecast lower at 6.2 billion pounds, down 200 million pounds from last month, on lower milk protein and cheese shipments.

Dorland notes exchange rates are favoring U.S. dairy products, which have prices lower than other regions.

“As a result, U.S. dairy products should be of value to global buyers,” she says.

McCully agrees, adding a weaker U.S. dollar also helps.

Kurzawski notes Chinese imports also have done well this year.

“At the start of the year, we expected 12 to 13 percent growth on a milk equivalent basis. So far, Chinese imports are up 25.3 percent (data through July),” he says.

McCully says spring weather in New Zealand has not been optimal, so impacts on milk production are being closely watched. He adds the milk recovery in Europe is a big factor in the outlook for the dairy market into 2018.

“On the demand side, if Chinese imports continue at recent high volumes, they will be able to absorb some of the incremental growth,” he says. “With already high stocks of skim milk powder and whey products, demand will need to keep pace to support prices near current levels. If not, then prices likely will move lower from here.”


CoBank: Growing milk supply challenges dairy processors

September 15, 2017

DENVER — Each year, U.S. dairy farmers produce 3 billion more pounds of milk than the year before. For the past few years, production growth has outpaced processing capacity growth and dairy processors are struggling to keep pace, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

As a result, dairy processors are faced with the challenge of handling an ever-growing milk supply, while anticipating the right product mix to meet consumer demand, says Ben Laine, senior dairy economist at CoBank.

“An additional 27 billion pounds of U.S. milk processing capacity will be needed over the next 10 years if current trends persist,” Laine adds.

Numerous new plants and plant expansion projects are underway or recently completed, but available capacity remains a challenge at times — especially in the Northeast and Mideast areas — and has strained the ability of dairy cooperatives to fill the role of market balancers, the report notes. Since these co-ops largely bear the brunt of the near-term oversupply of milk, they are increasingly looking for ways to discourage producers from expanding production.

Meanwhile, recent lower milk prices have led to lower input costs for processors, strengthening balance sheets and opening the door to expansion opportunities, Laine says.

“In some cases, this may mean upgrading existing, aging facilities, while in other instances it may mean new plant projects,” he says.

Many dairy cooperatives and some independent processors have focused on building and expanding milk powder processing plants, the report says. These newer, large-scale plants are better able to meet international demand and position companies for export market competitiveness, the report adds, noting these plants have been popular in California and the Southwest.

Conversely, without updates, some of the mid-size aging commodity plants, those that produce butter and nonfat dry milk, will struggle when competing against more modern powder plants, Laine says.

Although U.S. consumers’ fluid milk consumption has been slowing, industry investments are occurring to process specialty products like organic milk and extended shelf-life products or to upgrade and replace existing, aging infrastructure, according to the report.

Recent expansions of cheesemaking plants — which have the potential to handle much more substantial amounts of milk than other processing plants — have been completed in the Southwest, the report notes. In addition, new plans for cheese plant expansions in the Upper Midwest are expected to relieve some of the region’s recent capacity constraints once they come online.

Increasingly, cooperatives are setting their sights on cheese plants as opposed to commodity balancing plants, and are looking to joint ventures as a means to do so, according to the report.

In addition, many international companies are looking for ways to establish a U.S. manufacturing footprint to gain access to the U.S. milk supply for what is expected to be long-term growth in global demand.

“There have been international partnerships and joint ventures for years in the industry,” Laine says. “But the interest seems to be gaining momentum.”

Finding the proper supply and demand balance as processor capacity is built will be a challenge and will likely cycle through periods of near-term surplus and shortage, according to the report.

Processors will need to stay focused on the consumer, whether domestic or international, and form partnerships as needed to meet demand, the report adds.

“At times of surplus milk, the need for added processing capacity in any form seems critical, but for the long-term health of the industry, the focus should be on building the right type of capacity to meet growing global demand,” Laine says.

To view the full report, visit


Perdue unveils proposed changes for USDA offices

September 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced the realignment of a number of offices within USDA in order to improve customer service and maximize efficiency.

The actions involve innovation, consolidation and the rearrangement of certain offices into more logical organizational reporting structures, Perdue says. The changes build on the reorganization he announced in May. (See “Secretary Perdue testifies before House Agriculture Committee, outlines changes to USDA” in the May 19, 2017, issue of Cheese Market News.)

As with the previous realignment, this restructuring comes with the intention of handling any staffing changes through attrition or reassignment, Perdue notes.

“On my first day as secretary, I told our employees that I wanted USDA to be the most effective, most efficient and best managed department in the federal government,” Perdue says. “These changes will move us further toward that goal. This realignment represents further progress on the improvements to USDA we made earlier this year and will help us better meet the needs of farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers while providing increased accountability to American taxpayers.”

Some of the realignments include:

• Advancing trade

In keeping with Congress’ directive in the 2014 Farm Bill and to advance agricultural trade, USDA in May created an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA). The importance of this addition is underscored by recent U.S. advances in international trade, Perdue says. USDA anticipates that U.S. farm exports will total $139.8 billion this fiscal year, the third-highest tally in history.

While reviewing options for improving coordination on trade and international activities, USDA determined that the Codex Alimentarius program (U.S. Codex Office), currently housed in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), will be moved to the newly created TFAA mission area. The U.S. Codex Office is an interagency partnership that engages stakeholders in the development of international governmental and non-governmental food standards. The focus of the Codex office aligns better with the mission of TFAA, Perdue says.

The U.S. Codex office is responsible for ensuring U.S. government interests are reflected in the development of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the standard-setting organization run jointly by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.

Michael Dykes, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), says the organization welcomes the move.

“Placing the U.S. Codex office in the Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs area helps to ensure that Codex standard-setting activities will be founded on strong science, result in real public health benefits and facilitate fair trade of U.S. dairy products around the world,” Dykes says.

“U.S. dairy product companies continue to face trade barriers in getting safe, nutritious dairy products into markets around the world due to foreign regulations that are often protectionist in nature and aren’t designed to truly protect public health,” Dykes adds. “We look forward to working with the under secretary and his staff on Codex and trade issues affecting agriculture and the U.S. dairy industry.”

• Driving rural development

The USDA reorganization announced in May created a new position of Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development (RD) and situated it to report directly to the secretary. Since then, RD has been leading efforts to promote economic development and revitalization, job growth, infrastructure, innovation and quality of life issues for rural America, Perdue says.

Four working groups have been established to gather recommendations on issues regarding the quality of life in rural America; the rural workforce; innovation, technology and data; and economic development. In addition, Perdue has hosted five task force meetings — either with Cabinet members or in public listening sessions. A report with concrete actions to be taken will be provided to President Trump in late October, Perdue says.

USDA also plans to establish an Innovation Center within RD, which will be tasked with evaluating the impacts of the business, housing and utilities programs provided by the department.

• Concentrating industry engagement

Rather than have commodity procurement in multiple agencies of USDA, the International Food Commodity Procurement program currently in the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will merge into the domestic Commodity Food Procurement program in the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). This action will consolidate commodity procurement activities across USDA and allow for greater efficiencies in the acquisition of commodities, Perdue says.

In addition, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) will be merged into AMS. Currently, GIPSA and AMS both carry out grading activities and work to ensure fair trade practices. The new structure will contain a program area composed of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Program and the Packers and Stockyards Program, as well as some other regulatory activities AMS currently is directed to carry out.

• Reducing redundancies

While creating the Farm Production and Conservation mission area, it became apparent that across USDA there are redundancies and inefficiencies in mission support activities, Perdue says. Currently, some agencies maintain redundant administrative support functions, including human resources, information technology (IT), finance, procurement and property management.

For example, there are 22 employees in the department that are identified as chief information officers (CIOs). Perdue says having such a large number of CIOs creates redundancies throughout the department when it comes to leadership on IT activities and services and results in unnecessary layering of leadership and direction. Therefore, mission support activities will be merged across USDA.

• Focusing nutrition efforts

In order to better serve the nutritional needs of USDA customers, the new blueprint calls for merging the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) into the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Perdue says this makes sense because the two are closely intertwined and serve a similar mission. CNPP works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers. FNS seeks to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Instead of having a politically-appointed administrator of CNPP, the agency will be headed by a career associate administrator, Perdue notes.

More information on the proposed reorganizations is available at

USDA also is seeking public comments on the proposed reorganizations. Interested persons are invited to submit comments online at by Oct. 7.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., this week announced the committee will hold a hearing Sept. 19 to consider two nominations within USDA.

The hearing on Stephen Censky for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Ted McKinney for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs will be held at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 19.


OTA files lawsuit against USDA over organic standards

September 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Taking action to defend the organic seal and organic standards, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) this week filed a lawsuit against USDA over its alleged failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards.

“We are standing up on behalf of the entire organic sector to protect organic integrity, advance animal welfare and demand the government keep up with the industry and the consumer in setting organic standards,” says Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO, OTA.

The suit alleges USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act and unlawfully delayed the effective date of the final livestock standards that were developed by industry and in accordance with the processes established by Congress. It also alleges the agency abused its discretion by ignoring the overwhelming public record established in support of organic standards.

OTA further contends that the Trump administration’s regulatory freeze order issued to federal agencies in January should not apply to organic standards because they are voluntary and are required only of those farms and businesses that opt in to be certified organic.

Batcha says OTA’s duty to protect the U.S. organic sector and enable it to advance, to uphold the integrity of the organic seal and to honor the consumer trust in that seal compelled the association — on behalf of the organic industry — to take the legal action against the administration.

“The organic industry takes very seriously its contract with the consumer and will not stand aside while the government holds back the meaningful and transparent choice of organic foods that deliver what the consumer wants,” Batcha says. “The government’s failure to move ahead with this fully-vetted regulation calls into question the entire process by which organic regulations are set — a process that Congress created, the industry has worked within and consumers trust.”

Batcha adds that the viability of the organic market rests on consumer trust in the USDA organic seal and trust that the organic seal represents a meaningful differentiation from other agricultural practices.

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Production (OLPP) rule, commonly referred to as the Organic Animal Welfare Rule, is the result of 14 years of public and transparent work within the process established by Congress, and reflects deep engagement and input by organic stakeholders during multiple administrations, both Republican and Democrat, OTA says.

It addresses four broad areas of organic livestock and poultry practices, including living conditions, animal healthcare, transport and slaughter. The OLPP represents a refinement and clarification of a series of organic animal welfare recommendations incorporated into the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which established the federal regulations overseeing the U.S. organic sector.

The rule establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry; clarifies how producers and handlers must treat livestock and chickens to ensure their health and well-being throughout life, including transport and slaughter; specifies which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production; provides timelines for producers to come into compliance including five years to establish outdoor access requirements for egg operations, three years for broiler operations to establish indoor space requirements and one year for all other adjustments; and levels the playing field by clarifying the existing organic standards.

After public input and a vetting process that included the review and recommendation process of the National Organic Standards Board, an audit by USDA’s Office of Inspector General and economic analysis by the National Organic Program, the National Organic Program published the final rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices in the Federal Register on Jan. 19, 2017. Due to a White House memorandum to federal agencies released Jan. 20, 2017, requesting a regulatory freeze on rules recently published or pending, the effective date of the rule was delayed to May 19, 2017.

On May 10, 2017, USDA delayed the effective date again by an additional six months to November 14, 2017, and opened a 30-day comment period asking for responses to four possible options for the final rule:

• Let the rule become effective, which would mean the rule would become effective on Nov. 14, 2017;

• Suspend the rule indefinitely, during which time USDA would consider whether to implement, modify or withdraw the final rule;

• Delay the effective date of the rule further, beyond Nov. 14; or

• Withdraw the rule.

More than 47,000 comments were received during the 30-day comment period, with 99 percent of those comments in support of the rule becoming effective as written without further delays Nov. 14, 2017, OTA says.

OTA is asking the court to eliminate the options proposed by USDA to further delay, rewrite, or permanently shelve the rule —- thereby making the final livestock rule effective immediately, as written.

Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative CEO George Siemon says the government’s failure to allow this regulation to be implemented could jeopardize consumer trust in organic.

“The organic consumer and community have worked closely with USDA to help craft this sound regulation and have followed the established rulemaking process,” Siemon says. “For the administration to now let political pressure derail that progress is an assault on the trust in the organic process that the organic industry works so hard every day to earn.”

Siemon notes Organic Valley works with thousands of organic dairy, laying hen, beef, hog and poultry producers, and has long advocated for action to clarify the living conditions and expectations for animal care in organic.

“Animal living conditions and welfare are a critical part of an organic livestock system,” he says. “We in organic need to lead on this front, and the consumer’s trust in organic needs to be respected.”


Congress, stakeholders make progress on budget, trade talks

September 8, 2017

WASHINGTON — As Congress returned from recess this week, lawmakers were met with a looming to-do list that includes keeping the government funded, raising the debt ceiling, farm bill hearings, NAFTA renegotiations and looking to aid those impacted by tropical storms.

House lawmakers this week began debating legislation to fund USDA and FDA for fiscal year 2018 as part of a larger package of government spending bills. Meanwhile, President Trump reached an agreement with Democratic leaders on Wednesday to raise the debt ceiling and fund the federal government through mid-December as well as advance a disaster relief package for victims of Hurricane Harvey. As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida it is anticipated that additional disaster aid will be needed.

USDA this week announced that families participating in its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in hurricane-stricken Texas will have an easier time finding WIC-approved foods for mothers and their children thanks to new food package flexibilities approved by USDA.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved the request from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission because the full range of eggs, bread and fluid milk products are in short supply in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Under the new flexibilities, participants over the age of one year will be allowed to substitute milk of any available fat contest and type despite the designation of their food package. Flavored milk, however, will not be considered.

• Trade update

Also this week, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo concluded the second round of the renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Mexico City. This concluded five days of meetings by a team of subject matter experts covering various negotiation topics.

Over the past five days, more than two dozen working groups comprised of trade experts and technical officials worked to advance the discussions and exchanged information and proposals, according to USTR. In several groups, this engagement resulted in the consolidation of proposals into a single text upon which the teams will continue to work during subsequent negotiation rounds.

Michael Dykes, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), traveled to Mexico to engage with U.S. negotiators, urging them to “do no harm” with respect to the U.S. dairy industry’s trade partnership with Mexico and to address the negative impact of Canada’s new pricing policies and restricted markets.

Dykes is a member of the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee, which advises the Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative on trade agreements and other agricultural trade issues. Over the course of the five-day meeting, he participated in several briefings and met with U.S. congressional staff and with U.S. negotiators.

In the meetings, Dykes stressed the importance of maintaining the U.S. dairy industry’s export market in Mexico. He also called on negotiators to address Canada’s new milk pricing policies that undercut skim milk powder prices on the international market, as well as to eliminate steep tariffs to permit greater U.S. dairy market access to Canada.

Dykes also plans to attend the third round of negotiations in Canada, scheduled for Sept. 23-27 in Ottawa.

This week’s NAFTA renegotiation meetings follow the release last week of a unified list of priorities from the U.S. and Mexican dairy industries that includes modernizing NAFTA to solidify their strong dairy market partnership, and addressing concerns about Canadian and European dairy policies.

A list of nine shared priorities was agreed upon last week at a second annual summit meeting between leaders of the two nations’ dairy industries, collectively called the United States-Mexico Dairy Alliance. The U.S. dairy industry was represented by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). Mexican dairy producer organizations included the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas, Gremio de Productores Lechero de la República Mexicana, and the Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Lecheros, along with Mexican processor organization Camara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche. (See “U.S., Mexican dairy sectors call for protection in NAFTA” in last week’s issue of Cheese Market News.)

Meanwhile, IDFA notes several news outlets reported last weekend that President Trump was considering a possible withdrawal from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). Because South Korea represents the fourth-largest market for U.S. dairy exports, IDFA urged members to contact their governors and ask them to let the administration know they are opposed to withdrawing from KORUS. The White House this week said is was holding off on making a decision to withdraw from KORUS. The collective voices of opposition from the agriculture and business community, combined with the geopolitical situation with North Korea, were among the top reasons provided for averting this decision for now.

The U.S. dairy industry exports cheese, milk powders and other ingredients to South Korea, and cheese is the top export, accounting for $170 million of the $231 million in dairy exports to the country in 2016, according to IDFA.

Under KORUS, tariffs on almost two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports have been eliminated, IDFA says. Tariff cuts and the lifting of other restrictions under the Korea free trade agreement have driven significant export growth for the U.S. dairy industry over the past five years, the organization adds.


GDT, EEX sign letter of intent on new auction mechanism

September 8, 2017

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Global Dairy Trade (GDT) and the European Energy Exchange (EEX) this week signed a letter of intent to evaluate the possibility of working together to set up and operate an auction mechanism for dairy products originating in Europe.

GDT operates twice-monthly public price discovery auctions for generic, large-volume products. EEX’s offering for European dairy products includes financially-settled futures on skim milk powder (SMP), butter and whey powder. Since the launch of agricultural products in May 2015, the EEX derivatives market for dairy products has continuously recorded new record volumes and shown steady growth, becoming the leading exchange market for dairy risk management in Europe.

Over the next few months, GDT and EEX will consult with dairy product buyers and sellers about the possibility of jointly offering price discovery for European dairy products through a credible auction mechanism designed for the European market.

“We believe that our proposal can significantly benefit the dairy value chain by providing another business channel for exports, as well as potentially creating underlying data for new risk management instruments,” says Sascha Siegel, head of agricultural commodities at EEX. “With its expertise in dairy auctions, Global Dairy Trade is the ideal partner for such a project.”

Eric Hansen, director of GDT, says EEX is highly respected and the only European market operator recording a significant number of dairy futures contracts.

“We look forward to exploring the potential for a joint initiative that would enable us to better meet the needs of European buyers and sellers,” Hansen says. “This initiative forms an important part of our ongoing growth strategy.”

HighGround Dairy, Chicago, says it is excited about the opportunity.

“Any time the global dairy industry finds ways to work together on more transparent methods of price discovery, we are excited about the opportunity,” says Eric Meyer, president, HighGround Dairy.

Meyer notes European price indices are not very transparent in the individual component methodology (German, French, Dutch), and HighGround believes other countries should be considered for input, such as Ireland and the United Kingdom.

“On the flip side, EEX has limited execution infrastructure without any options-on-futures contracts,” Meyer says. “We would love to see EEX expand their membership and technology that would encourage outside money into the European dairy markets while we would also like to see GDT branch out from its seller-controlled platform and strive for a more open-market auction. But we are keen to see these two entities work on solutions and look forward to how they go about extracting input from the industry.”

Meanwhile, the GDT price index increased 0.3 percent at this week’s auction, and average commodity prices were mixed.

The average prices achieved across all contracts and contract periods for each commodity, and the percent change from last month, are as follows:

• Anhydrous milkfat: US$6,402 per metric ton FAS ($2.9039 per pound), up 3.6 percent.

• Butter: US$5,954 per metric ton FAS ($2.7007 per pound), up 3.8 percent.

• Buttermilk powder: US$2,026 per metric ton FAS ($0.9190 per pound), down 10.1 percent.

• Cheddar: US$4,118 per metric ton FAS ($1.8679 per pound), up 2.5 percent.

• Lactose: US$791 per metric ton FAS ($0.3588 per pound), up 5.1 percent.

• Rennet casein: US$6,316 per metric ton FAS ($2.8649 per pound), up 1.2 percent.

• SMP: US$1,944 per metric ton FAS ($0.8818 per pound), down 1.2 percent.

• Whole milk powder: US$3,100 per metric ton FAS ($1.4062 per pound), down 1.6 percent.

The next trading event will be held Sept. 19. For more information, visit


Production of U.S. cheese climbs 1.0 percent in July

September 8, 2017

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 1.027 billion pounds in July, 1.0 percent above July 2016’s 1.017 billion pounds but down 0.3 percent from the 1.030 billion pounds produced in June 2017, according to data released this week by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Dairy Production chart on page 10.)

On an average daily basis, July cheese production was down 3.5 percent from June 2017.

Mozzarella was the most-produced cheese in the United States in July with 352.1 million pounds produced, up 1.1 percent from July 2016. Total Italian-type cheese production, of which Mozzarella is the largest component, was up 1.2 percent from the previous year to 449.5 million pounds.

Cheddar was the second-most produced cheese in the United States in July, with 286.4 million pounds produced. This was a 0.8-percent increase from the previous year. American-type cheese production, of which Cheddar is the largest component, totaled 401.8 million pounds in July, up 0.2 percent from July 2016.

On a percentage basis, Feta production saw the largest growth in the year-over-year comparison, climbing 16.5 percent to 11.8 million pounds.

Wisconsin led the nation’s cheese production with 273.9 million pounds of cheese produced in July, up 0.7 percent from its production in July 2016. California followed with 213.0 million pounds, down 0.3 percent from its production a year earlier.

The next four cheese-producing states in July were Idaho with 76.2 million pounds, down 8.1 percent from its production a year earlier; New Mexico with 63.8 million pounds, down 3.0 percent; New York with 60.0 million pounds, down 5.6 percent; and Minnesota with 60.0 million pounds, up 9.7 percent.

California led the nation’s butter production with 38.2 million pounds produced in July, down 12.2 percent from its production in July 2016.

Total U.S. butter production in July was 137.3 million pounds, up 1.6 percent from July 2016’s 135.2 million pounds but down 2.0 percent from June 2017’s 140.2 million pounds. On an average daily basis, July butter production was down 5.2 percent from June 2017.


U.S. consumption of cheese per capita up in 2016

September 8, 2017

WASHINGTON — Per capita U.S. cheese consumption continued to grow in 2016, climbing to 36.3 pounds, according to data released this week by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). This is up from 35.1 pounds in 2015.

According to ERS, per capita consumption of American-type cheese was 14.3 pounds in 2016, breaking the previous year’s record 14.0 pounds. Per capita consumption of other type cheeses was a record 22.0 pounds, up from last year’s record 21.1 pounds.

According to the ERS data, U.S. per cheese consumption has more than doubled in the last 40 years. In 1976, per capita American-type cheese consumption was 8.9 pounds and per capita other type cheese consumption was 6.6 pounds.

In addition, according to the latest data, 2016 per capita consumption of cottage cheese was 2.2 pounds, up from the 2.1 pounds it was at the previous three years, but still half of the per capita consumption level of the late 1970s/early 1980s.

ERS also reports a 0.1-pound increase in per capita butter consumption in 2016, climbing to 5.7 pounds. Per capita butter consumption has been steady or growing since 2011, when it jumped to 5.4 pounds from 4.9 pounds in 2010.

Per capita consumption of regular ice cream grew to 13.1 pounds in 2016, up from 12.9 pounds in 2015. This is the highest level since it was 13.2 pounds in 2012. Per capita consumption of reduced-fat ice cream declined by 0.1 pound from the previous year to 6.4 pounds in 2016.

ERS reports U.S. per capita nonfat dry milk consumption was down 0.3 pounds from the year before to 3.0 pounds, and dry whey and whey protein concentrate per capita consumption was down 0.4 pounds from the previous year to 2.3 pounds.

Dry whole milk consumption in 2016 was 0.3 pounds, the same as the year before. Per capita consumption of dry buttermilk also was 0.3 pounds and unchanged from 2015.
Per capita consumption of fluid milk continues its steady downward trend, according to ERS data, falling to 154 pounds in 2016, down 2 pounds from 2015. In 1976, per capita fluid milk consumption vas 247 pounds.

Despite the declines in per capita fluid milk consumption, overall dairy consumption on a milk-equivalent, milkfat basis is climbing. Per capita consumption of dairy on a milk-equivalent, milkfat basis was 646 pounds in 2016, up from 630 pounds in 2015. Overall dairy consumption generally continues to increase, though not in a straight line. By comparison, per capita dairy consumption in 2006 was 613 pounds. In 1996 it was 563 pounds, in 1986 it was 592 pounds and in 1976 it was 540 pounds.


CMN article search

Today's Cheese Spot Trading
September 22, 2017

Barrels: $1.6000 (+7)
Blocks: $1.6125 (+2)

Click here for more market activity
Cheese Production
U.S. Total July
1.03 bil. lbs.

Milk Production
U.S. Total August
18.050 bil. lbs.

Guest Columnist

Shigella — a threat to the
American cheese industry?

Dr. Mali Reddy, International Media and Cultures

Click here for our columnist archives

© 2017 Cheese Market News • Quarne Publishing, LLC • Legal InformationOnline Privacy Policy
Cheese Market News • Business/Advertising Office: P.O. Box 628254 • Middleton, WI 53562 • 608/831-6002
Cheese Market News • Editorial Office: 5315 Wall Street, Suite 100 • Madison, WI 53718 • 608/288-9090