It’s that time of year again, the annual food-fest that is Christmas. A time of tasty treats, burgeoning waist bands and general over indulgence. Here at Meadow Foods, Christmas starts in late summer when our operational thoughts turn to meeting the demands of the UK’s food industry in readiness for the huge seasonal uplift in consumption of dairy-based products.
Apparently, here in the UK, we are the chocoholics of Europe, accounting for a third of all European sales, with the average Brit devouring 11.2kilos of the stuff – the equivalent to 266 Mars Bars a year! Here at Meadow Foods it’s no mean feat keeping pace with the nation’s sweet tooth. Each year we manufacture 5,000 tonnes of chocolate crumb which is used in the production of fine quality milk chocolate, including Fair Trade, as well as a range of other chocolate goodies such as cakes and deserts, chocolate spread and ice cream sauce. Add to that the 12,000 tonnes of sweetened condensed milk we produce for making toffee, caramel, fudge and other similar products, as well as all the extra butters, milks and creams on the seasonal shopping list and it’s easy to see why the run up to Christmas is a very busy time.
Who doesn’t love a cheese selection at Christmas too and with Danish research earlier this year suggesting that cheese could be the secret to a long and healthy life by boosting metabolism and reducing obesity, there’s all the more reason to enjoy it. Our new range of full and low fat soft cheeses and set cultured products, which we launched in October to complement our existing dairy offer, is proving a real hit this holiday season. For the first time we are also producing Mascarpone, alongside our crème fraiche and soured cream range which are all widely used in favourite festive deserts, dips and sauces.
With so much temptation on offer over the coming days, we may well be overhauling our collective diets come the New Year to shake off the estimated five pounds we each gain between Christmas and New Year, but let’s not forget the many health benefits of eating dairy. We’ve all seen the extreme celebrity diets and the calls for people to ease up on their dairy intake, but nutritionists are warning against the trend, claiming it could be harmful to health. Dairy products are not only important for bone and dental health, but a 25 year study by Bristol University has found that milk can help to protect us against heart disease, cancer and strokes. What’s more there is evidence that consuming a diet rich in low-fat dairy products, fruit and vegetables can be effective in reducing blood pressure.
There’s much to enjoy when it comes to a delicious Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. From all of us at Meadow Foods we send you our warmest season’s greetings.