Congratulations are in order for Umpqua Dairy Products, Roseburg, Ore. In 2017, this Beaver State enterprise captured the coveted first place award in the Lowfat Chocolate Milk 2% category in the World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Products Contest. Competing in that particular class against 10 other dairies from across North America, Umpqua Dairy scored a near-perfect 99.8 percent to seal the victory in this rigorous competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association.
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As a result of this shining achievement, congratulations are also in order for The Benjamin P. Forbes Company, Broadview Heights, Ohio. That’s because the latter, also known as Forbes Chocolate, produced the chocolate that flavored Umpqua Dairy’s award-winning chocolate milk.
“While the Forbes Chocolate name is not on the award, it is very gratifying to know that we produce a product of such high quality that it is cited as ‘the best of the best’ in North America,” says Keith Geringer, president at Forbes Chocolate.
High quality, indeed; accolades should definitely not stop here. A round of applause is due to Forbes Chocolate because this Buckeye State developer and manufacturer of cocoa and flavor powders has been honored with the prestigious 2018 Food Quality & Safety Award. The annual Award, presented by Food Quality & Safety magazine, recognizes the dedication and achievement of an organization that upholds the highest food standards supported by quantifiable results.
“We are a family-owned company founded on the principles of integrity, hard work, gratitude, and consideration,” says Mike Sandy, plant manager. “Forbes has a commitment to its customers to provide quality products with responsive and flexible service.”
The Forbes Chocolate product lines showcase a wide spectrum of flavors, including cocoa powders in several strengths, colors, and fat ranges, Sandy relates. “Additionally, we offer inclusions, such as chocolate chips, flakes, and drops. Our flavor powders include strawberry, vanilla, and orange cream, to name a few. To meet market demand, we offer our customers a variety of seasonal flavors, as well.”
Forbes Chocolate purveys powdered ingredients to dairy processors, ice cream manufacturers, supplement and nutraceutical makers, and bakery and snack companies throughout North America.
Legacy of Forward Thinkers
In the late 1920s, Forbes developed a new method for making chocolate milk. Rather than using syrup, which was the industry standard, he created a powder mix that dramatically changed the flavored milk industry. This innovator continued with the business until his death in 1976 at age 103.
His son, Benjamin F., ran Forbes Chocolate for 10 years before selling in 1985 to its general manager, Darwin (Dar) Geringer. Dar spent 58 years with the company until his death in 2004.
Dar’s brothers, Dennis and Doug, also worked for the company and were eventually joined by Dar’s son Keith in 1986.
With Keith Geringer at the helm, the company moved in 2007 to its current 70,000-square-foot facility—triple the size of the former plant Dar built. “This newest facility features state-of-the-art processing equipment, a full-service lab staffed with food scientists, and everything needed to efficiently meet the needs of our customers,” Sandy boasts.
“In the food industry, technological advancements are key due to the industry being influenced by the demands of consumers,” Sandy believes. “Forbes Chocolate has always strived to bring innovative ideas to our facility, not only to improve product safety and/or quality, but also to improve employee safety and quality, for the two are intertwined in our processing.”