Dairy Crest Free To Focus On A World Of Possibilities
The £80m sale of Dairy Crest’s liquid milk operation to Müller is set to consolidate the pool of liquid milk suppliers in the UK. But what does it mean for the company’s branded arm, and in particular its cheese business?
Dairy Crest CEO Mark Allen says the deal leaves the company well positioned for long-term, profitable and sustainable growth. Hamish Renton, MD of HRA Global Food & Drink, says it’s easy to see why. “Dairy Crest will be more focused and able to divert all its resources behind its world-class cheese business,” he says. “The product is excellent, the supply chain is slick and the new whey stream ensures full value is extracted from the milk. The only missing element is a larger export business – the product is good enough to command attention in global cheese markets.”
As part of its three – year plan – Dairy for Life Dairy Crest believes there are five drivers that could unlock £289m growth for the cheese category. These are: care for me/my family, meal makers, positive snacking, value the versatility, and excite my senses.
The vision aims to change perception of dairy from simple fridge filler to daily inspiration, and specifically within cheese, to encourage consumers to make more of cheese,” says Amy Fisher, senior shopper marketing manager.
Brands Cathedral City and Davidstow are at the forefront of this, with Dairy Crest reviewing its innovation pipeline to deliver the against the new drivers. So far, this has resulted in the launch of Cathedral City Selections in a PMP bag to facilitate growth in adult cheese snacking, as well as the flavoured block range to meet consumer needs for ‘taste and indulgence’.
But the strategy requires change across the board if it is to deliver. “All the growth areas require consumers to change their behaviour, which means retailers and manufacturers will need to act differently in turn – in communications, at fixture and in NPD,” Fisher adds.
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