New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has announced its plan to invest $72 million into its Clandeboye mozzarella plant as the company expands its share in the global foodservice market.
The investment marks the final stage of a technology upgrade which will see the capacity of the plant double, enabling it to produce up to 50,000 MT of individual quick frozen grated mozzarella (IQF) per annum.
Fonterra’s Clandeboye plant features patented technology developed by Fonterra that enables frozen natural shredded mozzarella to be made straight from milk in one day rather than two days which traditional mozzarella processes require.
René Dedoncker, Fonterra’s director of foodservice said that strong growth in the foodservice category is being driven by emerging Asian markets where the category is estimated to grow by 13 percent up to 2016.
“Demand for high-value dairy products like mozzarella is being fuelled by changing dietary habits, particularly in Asia where there is a significant move toward more Westernised diets,” she said.
“For example, there has been dramatic growth in the number of pizza restaurants in China where key customers such as Yum! (owners of the Pizza Hut brand) and Domino’s Pizza are undertaking aggressive expansion plans in new and existing markets.”
Docker also says that the foodservice category is one of seven strategic paths identified in Fonterra’s business strategy, and was a standout performer in Fonterra’s annual results released in September.
“Our progress last year shows that our strategy is delivering the results we want in our priority areas. A good example is our Asia, Africa and Middle East business where we achieved a 45 per cent normalised EBIT growth in foodservice. We also achieved double digit growth in China where foodservice grew 28 per cent.”
The upgrade of the Clandeboye plant will commence mid next year and is expected to be completed by September 2015.