The Tnuva dairy company's attempt to market a popular type of cottage cheese has ended after four years, costing the company tens of millions of dollars, Calcalist reported.
Approximately one year ago, it was reported that Tnuva had decided to end production of Muuna cheese.
Now, Calcalist discovered that Tnuva initially lost nearly 150 million shekels ($43,371,795), but that the damage dropped to about $35 million after the company succeeded in selling some of its equipment to the company which had been in charge of the processing.
The company initially began the project in 2016, after investing tens of millions of dollars in developing the product, adapting it to the American palate, and buying shelf space in grocery stores. At that time, Tnuva was already active in the American market, but focused on the kosher market.
The Minnesota-produced Muuna was similar in texture to its Israeli sibling, but differed in terms of package size, fat percentage, additives, and shelf life. It was sold at 9,500 locations, and in 2018, Muuna represented 9% of all cottage cheese sales in the US.
Later, Tnuva attempted to expand its production, and searched for a partner. However, when it turned to Dairy Farms of America, the cooperative offered to buy just 15-20% of the initiative, while Tnuva wanted a full partner. At the same time, Tnuva was met with internal pressures, from investors who were no longer interested in holding shares in the US initiative.
Tnuva decided to shut the Muuna operations due to the understanding that it would not succeed without a strong local partner. Instead, the company decided to invest its money elsewhere, but the efforts were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.
Tnuva did not respond to Calcalist's request for comment.