IFT 2017

Land O’ Lakes Ingredients launches clean-label, organic cheese powders aimed at popcorn consumption

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To respond to consumer demand for natural dairy ingredients free from food coloring and dyes, Land O’Lakes recently launched a line of USDA Organic cheddar cheese powders at IFT in Las Vegas.

How consumers perceive the taste of cheese products has a lot to do with color, which doesn't always coincide with demands for clean label ingredients free from additives like food coloring and dyes, Land O’ Lakes Ingredients said. 

“The naturally-derived colors are not as bright or vibrant as the FD & C colors so sometimes people will perceive those products as less ‘cheesy’ because they’re not as brightly colored,” Susan Reed, Land O’ Lakes Ingredients, principal scientist and R&D applications manager, told DairyReporter at IFT in Las Vegas.

“But, that being said there’s a whole faction of population that does want the natural (colors) so you’ll see a couple of manufacturers that just have white macaroni and cheese.”

Organic cheese powders

The three organic white cheese powders contain different levels of cheese at corresponding price points, according to Reed.

“Due to the rigor necessary to achieve organic certification, organic products tend to command a premium price point compared to their traditional counterparts,” Reed said.

“We created three different varieties with delicious flavor complexities to provide options for our customers, no matter their budget.”

The company expects the rise in snacking, particularly popcorn consumption, to drive sales growth for the organic cheese powders.

“Popcorn in particular has enjoyed a rise of usage occasion lately because it’s viewed as a healthy snack especially from an organic standpoint; organic popcorn is pretty easy to come by,” Reed said.

“As more people are buying popcorn, we’re able to sell more seasoning that goes onto the popcorn.”

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