Arla had many reasons to celebrate after topping not one, but three categories at the global Dairy Innovation Awards, held at the Global Dairy Congress in Switzerland to take home awards for best cheese, best butter or dairy spread and best dairy packaging innovation.
Arla was the only company to scoop more than one award in the competition, which drew more than 140 entries from 23 countries in 15 categories, making the three successes taste that little bit sweeter.
Clinching the title of best cheese was Arla’s Unika range. The result of a 10-year innovation project, the unique cheeses are inspired by Nordic nature and wildlife and have been developed in collaboration with some of Denmark’s leading chefs. The range of cheeses varies during the year, to reflect the seasons and the composition of cows' milk which affect the flavor and texture of the cheeses.
The judge comments included: "Premium take on provenance. Great idea to use chefs to promote cheese” and "On trend artisanal cheese for an increasingly discerning consumer".
Best butter or dairy spread
Perserverance and lots of taste tests paid off for the global innovation team at Arla, with Arla Kærgården® with flavor, produced at Holstebro dairy in Denmark, taking the title of best butter or dairy spread.
Christian Kragholm Borregaard, global brand manager, said he believed there were two reasons behind Arla’s success at the awards:
“First of all we have some great tasting products that both consumers and customers have received really well and secondly, we have had the consumer in mind all through the development process - both in terms of product and communication. This has resulted in a concept that has hit it home with our target audience.”
Best dairy packaging innovation
It was the new PET bottles especially designed for Arla’s premium UK milk brand Cravendale® that caught the eye of the judges in the best dairy packaging category.
The range of one litre and 500ml bottles saw off the competition for providing consumers with ‘an unprecedented experience by being easy to use, hold and pour and being easy to open and reseal without spilling milk’.
The judging panel also recognised that the 500ml version has enabled Arla to enter the growing ‘food to go area’ by offering consumers a healthier choice of milk with their sandwich.
Innovation a key driver
Commenting on the awards, organiser Bill Bruce said: “Innovation continues to be the key driver in the dairy industry and that was evident in the wide range of new products and packaging ideas we received. All this activity helps to make the dairy sector the most exciting food and beverage category. Every year, the Dairy Innovation Awards helps us shine a spotlight on the sector, drawing attention to positive trends. This year was no exception.”