Portugal consumes more than 13,000 tons of yogurt each year, most of which comes from the Castelo Branco factory, which was established in 1979 and is now the extinct Iophil brand.
New, sweet and fluid. There are also strawberries. Portuguese yogurt consumers stand out from the rest of Europe, in addition to higher per capita consumption, they also handle yogurt in their own way. “Portuguese people like yogurt,” said Ludovic Reysset, Danone Portugal’s regional manager. But he explained that if consumers across the country like yogurt, they will treat the product differently: “Here, yogurt is used more as a snack and is consumed in the morning or afternoon. By the way, that’s why they also prefer liquids. Reason. It’s on the convenient side.”
In addition, the Portuguese also like to try new things and maintain this appetite, and to be able to stay at the forefront of innovation. “This is a category with innovation as the key. The Portuguese like innovation and are one of the most innovative consumers. In May, we launched a fruit shake, a new liquid lactose-free yogurt. We are very concerned about children On the one hand. Nearly 20% of our sales come from innovative products in the past 12 months. This year we plan to launch 30 new products in Portugal, and in 2020 we will launch 43 of 150 new products in Portugal.” Almost all products are Produced by Castelo Branco.
The source factory of Danone yogurt was established in 1979 to produce the now-defunct Iophil brand, which was founded by the Gomes Filipe family in the region and sold it to Danone in 1989. In turn, the French brand sold the device to Schreiber in the United States in 2013, but continues to maintain its production lines there for use in the domestic market, and some products are also exported to Spain. Currently, the factory is being expanded to add more production lines, which will create 40 new jobs in the area.
Danone is keen to emphasize its commitment to local products, and its strategy is called local first. For this, it relies on local milk suppliers. The fruit comes from the national company Frulat, which is about 40 kilometers away from this unit in Castelo Branco. The packaging comes from Logoplaste, which has a small factory in the Danone plant where it produces all liquid bottles of yogurt. The small space at the entrance of the manufacturing unit is connected to the production line through pipes. The produced bottles go directly to the production line without manual stirring, and can almost only be seen during the filling stage.
Like milk. Although it is a unit that uses milk as its main raw material, it has never been seen. Next to the bottle production space, there is a tank truck parking lot that transports an average of 150,000 liters of milk per day, most of which come directly from the producer M. Rito, whose production volume is about 500 bottles. In the factory, the milk is cooled for the first time in a machine with blades, and the exchanger heats up and cools again in 15 seconds. At this stage, the cream is also separated. It is stored in a silo with a capacity of approximately 500,000 liters, but it can only be stored for a few hours. Then it enters the factory through tubes, only the audience can see, yes, there is milk in these tubes.
Then comes standardization, which is the step of balancing the various components of milk: for example, more or less protein or fat. Milk, now called semi-finished products, is cooled to a temperature of 2ºC to 4ºC through the new exchanger. This is part of the recipe itself, where you can control the amount of fruit, bacteria or sugar to be used. The factory uses about 200 tons of sugar each year. Here, the entire process is controlled by two employees on the computer screen, because everything is done automatically: just insert the ingredients you want, and then execute the recipe in detail. “The degree of automation is getting higher and higher, and it is getting safer. This is a process that allows us to avoid mistakes. Our manufacturing success rate is 99.9%, which is very important. There are two key moments in the production of yogurt: fermentation and infusion. After the bacteria, yes, because yogurt is a living product. Then it depends on each yogurt. Activia also has additional bacteria that can have more impact on digestion and our body. During the fermentation process, it will It reaches nearly 40ºC and then quickly drops to between 0ºC and 6ºC, which is the temperature of the refrigerator at home,” Ludovic Reysset said.
After several hours of fermentation and passing through the blender, depending on whether it is solid, gel or liquid yogurt, it will continue to be packaged. As far as the cups are concerned, they are formed a few seconds before the yogurt is received; the liquid arrives directly from the Logoplaste factory through a pipe. They are closed, labeled and boxed. A stage was also updated: “We managed to reduce the amount of cardboard in each package, just by removing the plastic cover from the liquid, we can save about 200 tons of plastic each year,” he continued.
Next to the noisy production line is the analytical laboratory. Each line has a “Q point mark”. Random packages are collected here for analysis and stay in two chambers at 25ºC and 30ºC for a few days. The goal is to simulate the degradation of the product over time and understand the behavior of yogurt. The stage in which brands are allowed to change their policies regarding expiration dates. “We hope to change “consumption to:” to “preferably before consumption:”. The idea is to prevent food waste, which is a product that lasts for a long time after the date indicated on the package. In this In this case, yogurt is easy. Just open the package and if it smells or tastes bad, it will be immediately obvious,” they explained.
In Portugal, Danone’s yogurt sales exceed 100 million Euros, with a market share of 35%, and the trend is to increase consumption. There are both ordinary yogurt, protein and “vegetable” two vegetable brands, and sales are increasing by 30, 40%. amount”.
—— 20% of brand sales In Portugal, new products are launched every year. This year it will be 30.
—— 100 million sales: Danone’s yogurt sales in the country are approximately 100 million euros. It has a 35% market share.
-They arrive on average every day, 150,000 liters of milk to the factory. they are 13,000 tons of yogurt Per year.