New Zealand-based dairy co-operative Fonterra is set to commission a new butter line at its plant in Edgecumbe in order to address increasing demand for ‘Muddy Buns’, also known as ‘Dirty Dirty Bread’, or ‘Zang Zang Bao’ in China.

The new line is anticipated to increase the plant’s butter production capacity from the existing 4,500 metric tonnes (mt) to 7,000mt.

Fonterra Global Foodservice marketing general manager Susan Cassidy said: “The Dirty Dirty Bread can best be described as a chocolate croissant.

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

“People love the flaky chocolate pastry that’s coated in rich chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cocoa powder.

“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.”

The company has hired a total of 15 local contractors to complete the expansion of the facility, which currently employees 380 personnel.

The first butter sheet from the Edgecumbe site’s new line is expected to roll off on 1 September.

Cassidy further added that public demand for butter is growing, noting that consumers want natural products and are prepared to pay for them.

Fonterra Edgecumbe operations manager Allan Muggeridge said: “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.

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