More value from basic dairy with mozzarella

Marten Paasman, Director Strategic Projects Dairy Essentials

Processing 700 million litres of milk for mozzarella

Reading time:
3 minutes

Case FrieslandCampina aims to get more out of its basic dairy products. One of its priorities is accelerating the growth of cheese and making it more profitable. Mozzarella is a key product with high growth potential. It is a speciality suitable for many applications. In 2019, FrieslandCampina entered into two partnerships, with the German DMK Group in Germany and Royal A-ware in Heerenveen (NL), for the purpose of enabling growth in this category.

Partnerships offer us an opportunity to add value to our milk and to produce excellent products

“FrieslandCampina holds a leading position in Dutch cheese types, but these are primarily sold in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and to a lesser extent are consumed in the rest of the world,” says Marten Paasman, Director Strategic Projects Dairy Essentials. “Mozzarella is a cheese type with high growth potential. And here we are not so much talking about the mozzarella slices used in the Italian insalata caprese, but a firmer version that nicely melts on a pizza or lasagne, for example.”

The origin of mozzarella

Mozzarella originated in Campania, a south Italian region near Naples. The mozzarella in this region is made from buffalo milk and has been granted protected geographical status: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. The word mozzarella derives from the Italian word for kneading, which is essential for the cheese to melt nicely during preparation. This is why mozzarella is often used in the preparation of pizzas and other dishes. Mozzarella produced outside the Campania region is usually made of cow’s milk, as is FrieslandCampina’s mozzarella.


“The growth in the demand for mozzarella is primarily to be found in Asia and Latin America,” says Marten. “This is due to increased prosperity combined with increased western eating habits. The growth potential especially lies in the business-to-business channel where cheese is used as an ingredient in, for example, pizza, including the frozen version, as well as the fresh version you can pick up at a pizzeria. There also is a trend among consumers to use mozzarella for making their own dishes. Finally, we want to strengthen our position on the European market with the focus on mozzarella, for example among producers of frozen meals.

Worldwide pizza market


Partnering with specialised partners

FrieslandCampina works together with two specialised companies for the production of mozzarella, namely DMK in Germany and A-ware in Heerenveen (NL). Marten: “The key for mozzarella is that its functional properties must be good – grating and melting come to mind here – and we like to work with specialised producers for this purpose.  We make use of the available production capacity of our partners, as well as their expert personnel, but then on the basis of our milk and recipes. We also do our own marketing and sales, whereby the emphasis is on the business-to-business channel, as well as on the consumer, generally through the private labels of retailers.”

DMK currently already produces mozzarella and the A-ware production facility started production at the beginning of 2020. The A-ware facility is one of the most sustainable mozzarella plants in the world, which fits in well with our sustainability strategy. Both plants are going to process 700 million litres of milk supplied by our member dairy farmers into mozzarella.



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