Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hood Invests, PBG Dreams, The Milk Business Struggles

Two related areas are protein-based drinks and milk-based beverages... related through the whey protein that can be derived from dairy.

I have covered in previous posts how protein beverages are expanding. Add to this the comments made by PBG's CEO that Muscle Milk will add an additional 2 points of growth to their business (PBG now distributes Muscle Milk) and that Hood Dairy is looking to add a second aseptic filler to their manufacturing capability in Northern CA, protein beverages are on the march.

For the uninitiated, creating shelf stable milk products is a challenge. They either have to retorted (ie super heated), or made aseptically (at lower temperatures, in clean room). Make a mistake, and the products can grow E Coli.

While the PBG comments are a few weeks old (he made the statement at CAGNY), the Hood news is big. The aseptic Shibuya machine is multi-million dollar investment in a piece of kit that will take around 12 months to buy, install and commission. But continues to reflect Hood's commitment to finding value-added products in the dairy field.

There are however, plenty of down notes in Dairy World. Canadean has identified that the dairy business is experiencing pressure in the downturn - despite more competitive prices.

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