Butter and cheese continue to make headlines as demand for the products soar, driving prices up in the U.S. and abroad. Some analysts speculate that butter and cheese prices will continue to climb, while others suggest a sharp correction in markets is on the horizon.
All this uncertainty translates into pricing volatility, putting food manufacturers that use these products at a strong disadvantage. Market volatility can significantly decrease a company’s profit margin and lead to inconsistent cash flow throughout the year, making for inaccurate forecasting and troublesome strategic planning.
There are positive implications resulting from the high demand for butter and cheese, however, in the form of a secondary product that results from the production of these dairy products. And food manufacturers are leveraging these innovative ingredient solutions to their advantage.
How Higher Butter and Cheese Prices Can Benefit Food Manufacturers
Milk production has soared in recent years to keep up with the demands for butter and cheese, and the U.S.D.A. production forecast is expected to climb nearly 2% more globally in 2018.
All that milk being turned into more butter and cheese means that more and more whey is also being produced. This end product is rich in nutrients and protein, and it can be used throughout the food and beverage industry as an alternative ingredient to butter, cheese and other dairy products, in addition to eggs — another volatile ingredient.
The consistent stock of whey protein means the product isn’t subject to radical price fluctuations and erratic markets, so companies that use it in their formulations can better forecast ingredient costs over the long term. In addition to lower and more consistent pricing than traditional ingredients, the use of functional whey protein can help drive costs down even further because it has a longer shelf life and requires no refrigeration.
Uses of Whey Beyond Health and Fitness Industries
The use of whey protein is often associated with the health and fitness industry in the form of whey protein isolate, however, other forms of whey protein are major drivers in food and beverage applications where creamy mouthfeel and rich flavors of traditional dairy ingredients are desired, without the high fat and calories often associated with them.
Not all forms of whey protein are acceptable in all applications, and the end result can be disappointing if you don’t choose the right product and work with a reputable ingredient partner that understands the differences between commodity whey and those most suitable in food applications. Additionally, because of the ways in which they’re processed, many commodity whey products can’t be labeled as “all-natural,” contradicting the clean label movement.
Choosing the Right Form of Whey Protein
Grande Bravo® and Grande Gusto® are superior, all-natural functional whey proteins that are derived from the finest 100% natural Italian cheeses and Grade A dairy products that can easily be included in reformulated products to reduce or replace butter, cheese and other high-cost dairy ingredients.
There are many advantages of using these whey ingredients in addition to superior flavors and mouthfeel. The proprietary process in which they're produced ensures superior water-holding capabilities and high viscosity, meaning they're easily hydrated and won’t separate or pool. They're also heat and acid stable as well as freeze-thaw stable.
Grande Bravo can be used in many applications, including soups and sauces, salad dressings, frozen desserts, cheesecake and confections, spreads and dips, and much more. Grande Gusto is an ideal replacement for cheese in cheesy soups, sauces and entrees like macaroni and cheese.
For insights into how to select the best whey protein for your application, access our whitepaper below. And, if you want to get off the roller coaster ride of volatile butter and cheese pricing and are ready to reduce or replace those ingredients in your formulations, contact the experts at Grande Custom Ingredients Group. We’ll discuss your greatest formulation challenges and help you smooth out your ingredient costs to improve your bottom line while still delighting your customers.