Adding new value to fat-free milk generated in butter making
GOOD NEWS also develops processed products with food waste prevention in mind. One of its best-known products is Butter no Itoko, a waffle cookie containing fat-free milk jam in the center.
The snack’s popularity is such that it has sales outlets in Tokyo and Hokkaido, including the main Butter no Itoko’s shop at GOOD NEWS in Nasu Kogen. Although it is now recognized as Nasu’s new signature snack, it was originally developed to enrich people’s diets with high-quality craft butter made from Nasu’s delicious local milk. Kotomi Mizuno, public relations officer, explains how it all started.
The GOOD NEWS FACTORY produces products developed by GOOD NEWS, including their signature snack, Butter no Itoko. Additionally, the factory provides job opportunities for individuals with disabilities, serving as a job center. Butter no Itoko promotes a connection between producers, workers and consumers, making it a snack that benefits everyone.
Addressing food waste from various angles, from whey to off-spec vegetables
The creations of Brown Cheese Brother and Kona to Spice, which were made for the grand opening of GOOD NEWS in July 2022, received much attention.
Brown Cheese Brother is a sweet treat featuring whey, typically thrown away during cheese production. The whey is boiled down (about 90%) to make brown cheese, which is mixed with caramel. Then, the mixture is sandwiched between two thick cookies that come in plain or chocolate flavors. You can try both for comparison.
Kona to Spice is a baked curry bread made with local Tochigi flour Yume Kaori and 11 spices. Each of the three varieties (mild, spicy, and extra spicy) has a thick, rich, and addictive flavor.
The company works with growers to minimize food waste by proactively utilizing surplus vegetables and sub-standard food items that cannot be sold.
Mizuno explains, “Although we’re still exploring the possibilities, we plan to continue developing products to address local issues surrounding food. We hope to continue to take on the challenge of creating new industries that will make everyone happy by combining Nasu’s tourism resources with local welfare and agriculture.”
The GOOD NEWS initiative started with the concerns of a producer, and it has now gained the entire community’s support. The town is becoming more sustainable as many people empathize with the cause.