Kraft and Warrnambool Cheese strengthen relationship in cream cheese

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th March 2013

Dairy processor Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Limited (WCB) and Kraft Foods Australia have announced that they have entered into a long term supply agreement that will see the production of specially formulated cream cheese for export markets.

Under the agreement, Kraft Foods Australia will produce the cream cheese under WCB’s Sungold brand. The product will be exported to Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East.

Effective from the second quarter of calendar year 2013, the cream cheese agreement follows a recent announcement of collaboration between the two companies that will see WCB develop a premium low fat cheese for Kraft Foods.

“Australian food companies are strong in food innovation and our products are trusted around the world, so it’s great we’re making the most of our local manufacturing capabilities, supporting our farmers by sourcing locally and capitalising on this brilliant export opportunity,” said Darren O’Brien, Kraft Foods’ Managing Director of Foods.

“It is an exciting time for WCB, with the cream cheese and low fat cheese agreements building on an already strong relationship with Kraft Foods,” said David Lord, WCB CEO and Managing Director. “Both agreements are consistent with WCB’s strategy to build a portfolio of higher margin product and deliver more customer specific applications,” he added.

Following the global merger of Kraft with Cadburys, Kraft had appeared to falter in Australian cheese production, allowing Bega Cheese to expand into the cheddar sector once dominated by Kraft in the Australian market. Kraft’s international reputation in cheese has been focused, especially in the US, on its Philadelphia (‘Philly’) brand. However, the latest moves in cheese product development by Kraft Foods in Australia may signal that Kraft Foods now recognises the research and development base and production capabilities Australia offers. Kraft Foods has strong brand management and marketing strengths and potential complementary products for the growing markets of Asia and the Middle East.