Global chefs whipping up a new way to boost NZ dairy

Chefs are whipping up a new way to boost New Zealand's dairy export drive - 56 chefs working in about 50 different countries, to be precise. They are part of Anchor Food Professionals, Fonterra's new food services division, which is creating a whole new way of working in export markets and with customers in those markets.

Grant Watson, head of AFP and Fonterra's Director of Foodservice, says the chefs are hired in countries ranging from China to Thailand to help boost the business performance of those customers - mostly found in the Italian restaurant (pizza and pasta), bakery and quick service restaurant arenas.

The chefs are all of good standing and work directly with chefs and food professionals anywhere where food is prepared outside the home - cafes, restaurants, hotels, airlines, hospitals and schools. They demonstrate not only key products like milk, cream, cheese and cream cheese but also showcase how Fonterra's innovations in their product range can drastically benefit a business.

Watson recalls a recent such boost to a bakery customer in Malaysia; the owner-operator owned about six bakeries, mostly specialising in sweet treats.

"We discovered he was using very little butter in his stores," says Watson. "So we went in with a chef and a small team. Butter is more expensive than non-dairy equivalents so he wasn't using much.

"The chef showed him how using butter makes such a difference when it comes to what he was making in his stores - cream cakes, cheesecakes, croissants, Danishes and the like. The taste and the melt-in-your-mouth factor is so much better.