Larry Jensen, president of Leprino Foods, announced yesterday that Domino’s-Australia entered an exclusive agreement with Leprino to source all of its mozzarella cheese needs out of the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Over the next three years, Domino’s outlets in Australia and New Zealand will be serving 12 million pounds annually of California mozzarella cheese to their customers.
“In the next month or two, U.S. dairy farmers will have their cheese shipped into New Zealand,” Jensen says. He made the announcement at the annual Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI)/National Milk Producer Federation annual meeting in Reno, Nev.
The stunning announcement came on the heels of news of a dramatic turn-around in pizza sales in 2010. In June, July and August of 2010, retail quick-serve pizza sales jumped 6%, which actually reflect a 13% turn-around from the same period in 2009 when sales plunged 7%.
In early 2009, DMI had worked with Domino’s to create six new specialty cheeses with up to 40% more cheese per pie. Domino’s marketed the new pizzas heavily, and saw turn-around in sales. This year, it introduced its Wisconsin 6 Cheese pizza, which uses 80% more cheese than its traditional pizza. As a result, Pizza Hut has followed suit, introducing its “Big Italian” pizza that carries 50% more cheese than its standard large pizza.
Through these efforts, cheese sales have climbed 100 million lb. through the first six months of 2010, representing milk sales of one billion lb. If these trends continue, that means two billion more pounds of milk will be used on pizza in 2010, says Jensen.
Pizza is critically important to cheese sales and milk prices, since more than 25% of cheese is consumed on pizza. For example, 2 slices of pizza contain 1.5 oz of cheese. A 6” sub only contains 0.5 oz and a cheese burger 0.4 ox.