By Meagan Parrish, Senior Reporter
You’d be forgiven if you thought he art hanging inside Denali Ingredients was the work of
Jackson Pollock — the famed abstract
expressionist who’s known for “drip”
But upon closer investigation, that light
brown canvas looks more like peanut
butter. The red “paint” dripped and
strewn across the backdrop is definitely
strawberry sauce. And the brown
splatters? That’s chocolate.
It’s the perfect way to capture Denali’s
approach to food. As an ingredients
supplier for the ice cream industry, the
success of the New Berlin, Wisconsin-based company hinges on creativity and
artistry to keep it ahead of the curve.
Denali’s main market is ice cream,
which, despite being one of the most
popular desserts in America, has seen
per capita consumption declines
compared to 25 years ago. Part of the
drop has come from the rise in good-for-you eating trends.
But if you can’t beat ‘em, then, well,
feed ‘em. That philosophy is partly why
Denali hasn’t seen its business melt
with any dips in the industry. Instead,
the company has met every trend with a
tasty solution, and has done nothing but
grow since it launched as a frozen treats
ingredients business 10 years ago.
Behind that success is the constant
push to innovate and create. Whether it’s
clean eating or a specific flavor fad, Denali
cranks out dozens of new ideas every
year to meet the needs of its 300 or so
customers (which include every major ice
cream maker in the country).
While many companies see
research and development as a
burdensome cost, Denali views
R&D as an investment.
During a recent sit-down
with Denali’s president, Neal
Glaeser, Food Manufacturing
learned how innovation and
other factors have helped the
company grow beyond its own
Denali Ingredients, a sister
company of Michigan-based
Denali Flavors, started as
a sales and marketing businesses for
several brands in the industry, including
the blockbuster Moose Tracks flavor. But
after 10 years, and a series of mergers
and acquisitions with Eskimo Pie,
CoolBrands and others, Denali started
manufacturing its own ingredients in
2006. The move paid off.
“When we purchased the facility
here in 2006, we were manufacturing
21 million pounds,” Glaeser says,
referring to the company’s headquarters
Denali Ingredients is a leading manufacturer of chocolate coatings, fudge sauces, fruit
variegates, extruded products and other ingredients for the ice cream industry.