Tnuva, Israel's largest dairy company, authorized a new initiative on Sunday to produce cottage cheese for the first time in America. If successful, American consumers can expect the delectable dairy goods on shelves in the first half of 2015.
Tnuva CEO Arik Shor and Chairperson Ravit Barnav traveled to the US two weeks ago to negotiate with two dairy plants about producing their goods locally. The two include a dairy company in the dairy region of Vermont, and another in Ohio.
While Tnuva is a household name in Israel, their cottage cheese will be marketed under a different name in the US in an attempt to better integrate in the American market, reports Yediot Ahronot.
The products will nevertheless be branded and marketed by Tnuva, aided by American counseling companies for the US market. Tnuva's American operations will be managed by three subcontractors, one in production, another in sales and a third in distribution.
In making the foray onto American shores, Tnuva hopes to follow the success of Sabra's hummus.
The cottage cheese industry in the US is worth a billion dollars annually. While Tnuva already makes $8 million a year on its dairy products in America, it hopes to tap into the cottage market with its unique product.
Cottage cheese may be an American invention, but Tnuva has developed a local version with soft lumps and a texture different from the American product.
Export has been hampered until now due to cottage cheese's 14-day shelf-life. This is why Tnuva plans to produce the cheese locally.
In Israel, Tnuva's cottage cheese brings in roughly $300 million annually, and its share of the Israeli market stands at 75%.
In 2011, tens of thousands of Israelis protested high prices in what was subsequently dubbed “the cottage cheese protests,” after the dairy product became a central commodity of contention in the general upset over the high cost of living.
Masses of Israelis boycotted dairy and other products, forcing producers to lower prices on many products, albeit temporarily. In early 2013 it was announced that cottage cheese – and all other dairy products – were going up in price by an average of 3.5%.