NEW ZEALAND– Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd has achieved a robust start to the year in quarter 1, crediting its success to the introduction of innovative products tailored to diverse markets. 

The company’s strategic focus on meeting consumer demands is exemplified by the successful launch of probiotic-infused cream cakes, particularly well-received in the Chinese market.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell highlighted the company’s commitment to catering to evolving consumer preferences. The introduction of a cake containing probiotics was a response to the increasing interest in health benefits, a move that has notably gained traction in the health-conscious Chinese market.

This strategic partnership with a customer in Greater China to develop a probiotic-infused cake has contributed to a strong first quarter for Fonterra,” said Hurrell. “We have witnessed improved performance across our sales channels, including Ingredients, Foodservice, and Consumer.”

Fonterra’s probiotic dairy products go beyond traditional digestive and immune support, aiming to provide a wider range of health benefits. The company’s research program in Palmerston North is dedicated to developing unique probiotic strains that enhance the immune system.

The Microbial Fermentation Unit (MFU) at the FRDC enables Fonterra to explore new probiotic ingredients with various health benefits, such as inflammation control, immunity support, gut comfort, weight management, brain health, and skincare.

Fonterra’s food service operations in Greater China have experienced a surge in consumer demand for dairy products, contributing to higher margins across the company’s sales channels. 

Anchor Food Professionals (AFP), Fonterra’s food service development arm, has played a pivotal role in innovating products for global bakeries, cafés, prepackaged foods, and quick-service restaurants.

Justin Dai, food service VP for Greater China, emphasized AFP’s role in incorporating additional benefits into food service products. 

The company’s focus on innovation extends to exploring the addition of higher protein content to biscuits and waffles, aligning with changing consumer preferences for nutritious options.

Strategic partnerships, such as the collaboration with Walmart China to launch new bakery products, demonstrate Fonterra’s commitment to innovation and market responsiveness. 

Looking ahead, Fonterra aims to build on its positive momentum and work towards its 2030 goals, continuously exploring new ways to commercialize its innovation expertise.

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