CHINA – Fonterra, a multinational dairy co-operative, is set to double up its butter output at Edgecumbe to meet the increasing demand for Chinese ‘muddy buns’ which is  a growing trend.

According to the company, ‘Muddy Buns, Dirty Dirty Bread, or Zang Zang Bao’ as they’re known in China, are creating a social media frenzy and driving a further craving for butter around the world.

The company is therefore working to handle this global trend and is commissioning a new butter line which will nearly double the factory’s butter sheet production from 4,500 metric tonnes to 7,000 metric tonnes.

“The Dirty Dirty Bread can best be described as a chocolate croissant. People love the flaky chocolate pastry that’s coated in rich chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cocoa powder,” said Fonterra General Manager Marketing, Global Foodservice, Susan Cassidy.

“It makes it impossible to keep your face clean while eating. They are popular with celebrities who have taken to social media to share images of their ‘muddy bun face’ experience.”

Ms Cassidy added that the demand for butter is as strong as ever as people want natural products and they are prepared to pay for them.

“Even in temperatures of minus ten degrees, crowds of people are queuing for hours to get their hands on their Muddy Bun.”

Edgecumbe’s Operations Manager, Allan Muggeridge, said the first butter sheet will roll off the new butter line on September 1.

“We’ve been watching demand for butter build for a number of years now.

The building part of the project started in May so it’s been a quick turnaround to get it up and running,” said Mr Muggeridge.

Fifteen local contractors have been employed to complete the expansion at the site, which employees 380 people.

“It’s been a real boost to the local business community, especially after the rough past 12 months Edgecumbe has had,” concluded Mr Muggeridge.