Fonterra is diversifying its product range in new markets abroad, including low-salt cheese in Korea and 'Candy Cheese' in Hong Kong.
Fonterra's chief operating officer for global consumer and foodservice, Jacqueline Chow, said the introduction of dairy products across Asia and the Middle East heralded the beginning of a "renaissance period for dairy".
"Sales trends show consumers around the world are demanding a more protein-rich diet, and with tastes varying from region to region we're working closely with our customers to make sure we deliver the products to match," Chow said.
Cheese was a relatively new product for many Asian locations and Fonterra was adapting to the demands of these markets, Chow said.
"Our customers in Korea, for example, are very conscious of the amount of salt in their diets, and many see dairy as a nutritious, low-salt protein option.
To cater to this specific demand, we have formulated a low-salt cheese down at our Stirling site in the South Island that has become extremely popular with young children as an introduction to dairy," she said.
The dairy giant said another trend, this time in Hong Kong, was the demand for healthy snack options for children, which led the company to develop Anchor Candy Cheese.
Perhaps the most interesting new product is the pharmaceutical lactose called Wyndale, produced at the Kapuni site in South Taranaki, which is being targeted at the Indian market.
"The product is used as an excipient in medicines, helping take the active ingredient to a targeted location in the body. Kapuni's primary customer, DFE Pharma, has a 25 per cent share in this market, with ambitions of growing further," Chow said.