Moo-sic to our ears!

As families and households sought nutritional value, local natural produce and assurance of quality during uncertain times, research from June 2020 showed almost 40% of Irish consumers under 35 had increased their dairy consumption since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, we take a closer look at the innovative brands continuing to drive sales

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Brand Central

22 March 2022 | 0

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Built on the family-farm tradition, Irish people, tourists, and foreign populations alike see Irish dairy as world-class. Thanks to our cool climate, which gives Ireland the longest growing season in the northern hemisphere, Ireland produces enough dairy to provide for multiples of its own population.

In fact, the dairy sector was worth more than €5 billion last year and is the largest element within Irish food and drink exports. Still, there’s always room for evolution and innovation. Competition between brands and increased demand for healthier options has caused the leading brands to diversify their offering to meet consumers’ needs.

Research published in June of 2020 by the European Milk Forum in collaboration with the National Dairy Council as part of the EU-Funded campaign “Sustainable Dairy in Europe, surveyed more than 2,000 Irish people. This found that almost four in 10 (39%) of consumers under 35 had increased their dairy (milk, cheese and yoghurt) consumption since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. Price (46%), nutritional value (34%) and healthiness (31%) were the top-three issues for consumers when purchasing foods. Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (92%) of those surveyed said that dairy is part of a sustainable diet.

Everyone’s dairy

The NDC introduced a packaging mark in 2009 to reassure consumers in the Republic of Ireland that their milk or cream purchases were farmed and processed locally

The National Dairy Council (NDC) is an important advocate for the dairy sector and dairy farmers and is passionate about this role, stating: “In 2022 Irish dairy needs a central, consolidated voice, one that champions the industry amongst the people on the street – the consumer of dairy products – those who, ultimately, grant us our social licence to produce. The NDC will be that voice by connecting the farmer to the consumer. The NDC re-connects the dairy farmer with the dairy consumer, building greater understanding of what farming is and what the farmer does, building trust in the production system and restoring pride in Irish dairy.”

 

What’s more, the NDC raises awareness of Irish dairy’s impact against the pillars of sustainability – economy, society, community and environment – developing understanding of what sustainability means for Irish dairy and showcasing the initiatives that are improving the industry’s performance. The council works to promote the nutritional benefits of dairy products and their place in a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet. It counteracts misinformation and is a source of trusted nutritional information, as well as recipes which celebrate Irish dairy.

In 2009, the NDC introduced a packaging mark giving consumers in the Republic of Ireland the reassurance of knowing that their milk or cream purchases were farmed and processed locally. In 2022, the NDC is revitalising the trademark, extending it to other dairy products. The NDC trademark is a guarantee of origin, strengthening the presence of Irish dairy on the shelf and highlighting Irish dairy products as clear choices for sustainable, balanced and nutritious eating.

The NDC concludes that its job, in 2022, is to tell the story of Irish dairy and restore pride and trust in its quality, its sustainability and its role in a balanced, healthy diet.

Number one brand

Avonmore Pro-Oats is the newest member to the Avonmore Protein Milk range, containing 27g protein and 23g gluten-free oats per 500ml carton

As Ireland’s number one dairy brand, Avonmore products are enjoyed on a daily basis in households across Ireland. The success factors have been around sustained investment in the brand; partnerships with customers to really drive growth; and delivering a consistent quality product as a priority – ensuring the best tasting milk reaches consumers.

Avonmore Super Milk has a key role to play in the fresh milk sector, given that we don’t get enough sunshine because of our northerly latitude, we don’t naturally get enough vitamin D, which is a real issue when it comes to bone health, particularly in the early years. Avonmore Super Milk is positioned as a good source of vitamin D given that it has 100% of the recommended intake of Vitamin D in a glass.

Avonmore Protein Milk is a significant part of the company’s success story in value-added dairy. Avonmore Pro-Oats is the newest member to the Avonmore Protein Milk range. Available in a 500ml carton, it contains 27g protein and 23g gluten-free oats and is perfect for those who exercise in the mornings, seek to hit their protein goals, and grab breakfast on-the-go, all in one carton. Pro-Oats has a lovely vanilla flavour with a smooth texture and has gotten off to an impressive start since its launch in late 2021.

Mooju flavoured milk is another successful brand in the portfolio. Popular with a younger audience, success is built on its quirky brand personality and its fantastic taste. Avonmore Slimline Milk with added iron and vitamins meets the nutritional needs for those looking for a 0% fat option. Avonmore Lactose Free and Heart Active milks complete the value-added milks portfolio ensuring quality, taste and nutrition for all ages and stages of life.

Within the cheese sector, Avonmore’s new Kilmeaden snacking range focuses on convenience in the snacking arena. The brand has challenged some other well-known snacking categories with the power of format and dairy to bring cheese to new consumers.

Celebrating 30 years

Connacht Gold Half Fat Butter’s light-hearted ‘Real-ing’ in the Years campaign celebrates an iconic brand and its heritage

To celebrate that Connacht Gold Half Fat Butter is still the country’s only half fat, real butter for over 30 years, the brand launched a significant marketing campaign this month across TV and social media.

“The campaign takes us on a trip down memory lane reminding us of the major cultural moments since Connacht Gold Half Fat Butter hit the shelves across the country over 30 years ago,” says Niamh Jinks, marketing manager of Aurivo Consumer Foods.

Connacht Gold is the number two brand in Ireland’s butter and spreads category

“From Jack’s Army, the Millennium Bug, Riverdance and the launch of the first iPhone, this light-hearted campaign of ‘Real-ing’ in the Years, which has a cultural memory unveiled every day in March, celebrates an iconic brand and its heritage,” she continues. “So much has happened in Ireland since Connacht Gold’s half fat, real butter was launched over 30 years ago, and we hope people right around the country enjoy the memories it evokes.”

“Connacht Gold Half Butter is a truly unique product and brand – Connacht Gold is the number two brand in Ireland’s butter and spreads category,” adds Stephen Blewitt, Aurivo’s general manager of dairy. “While acutely responding to changing consumer behaviours when it was first launched, the brand which we continue to innovate, is an iconic one that is as truly relevant to consumers today as it was 30 years ago.”

Goodness for immune systems

Actimel is enjoying exceptional double-digit growth following a rise in attention around immunity

A brand that has always been famous for supporting Irish immune systems, Actimel is rich in Vitamin D and contains Vitamins B6*.

Every shot of Actimel is bursting with 10 billion l.casei cultures and is rich in vitamin D which helps support the immune system.

As a result, Actimel is enjoying exceptional double-digit growth on the back of a rise in attention around immunity A unique moment of relevance for this brand has occurred during the past two years as consumers’ awareness and knowledge around immune support increases.

Actimel Kids is bringing immune support to lunchboxes across Ireland

The brand recently launched Actimel Kids; a lunchbox hero which is bringing immune support to lunchboxes across Ireland. Playful colourful packs contain two delicious flavours of Strawberry Banana & Peach. Impressively, this new brand extension is driving 71% incrementality to the kids category.

What’s more, Actimel has recently teamed up with Foodcloud – with an aim to donate 100,000 packs in Ireland to local foodbanks across the country and bring immunity to the communities that need it most.

For each pack of Actimel purchased, shoppers can donate a pack for free to a charity in their area via FoodCloud

 

For each pack of Actimel purchased, consumers can donate a pack for free to a charity in their area via FoodCloud by logging onto www.actimel.ie or scanning the QR code on the back of packs. The packs will be distributed throughout FoodCloud’s network of charities and community groups, helping to support local communities.

For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, visit the website www.Actimel.ie.

*(Actimel contains Vitamins B6 and D to help support the normal function of the immune system. Enjoy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle)

(Source: Nielsen data ending 30th Jan 22

(Source: Dunnes Source: 52 weeks Kantar Data Ending 24th Dec 2021)

Dazzling dance partnership

Müller Corner and RTÉ have successfully partnered once more through their Dancing with the Stars 2022 sponsorship

Müller Corner has returned as sponsor on RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars, the country’s most popular dance-off show and is supporting it with a significant promotional campaign to help drive consumer demand in-store of Müller Corner Irish Favourites.

The sponsorship is being supported with competitions across social media and national radio as well as in-store for a chance to win a pair of tickets to attend a ‘live’ show and overnight hotel stay plus lots of glamorous goodies.

Special Müller Corner Irish Favourites promotional packs hit the shelves at the end of January. The multipack includes Müller’s best-ever Müller Corner recipe which now contains more protein and has a thicker and creamier texture.

“It’s such a great feel-good show and is exactly what the country needs right now,” said Seán Cleary, head of Müller Ireland. “The audience matches brilliantly with our Müller Corner customer and is perfectly aligned with our brand purpose – to inspire happy, healthy lifestyles.”

The show which runs until this month features Jennifer Zamparelli, Nicky Byrne, Nina Carberry, Gráinne Seóige and Aengus Mac Grianna bringing truckloads of glamour, sparkles and fun each week to Irish audiences.

Shopper Intelligence Ireland: Shopper motivations vary significantly across dairy segments

Even within the same department, shopper motivations can vary a lot. Below is an infographic from Shopper Intelligence Ireland, comparing four key dairy categories to each other (and ranking them amongst 127 FMCG categories). Data are based on a shopper survey of 24,000+ Irish shoppers. In milk, the winning strategy should focus around simple shelf layout and constant availability. On the other hand, in cheese, a wide range of different types (but not necessarily a high number of brands) can be a key for retailers. See below details about shopper motivations and behaviour for two other dairy categories, too.

 

 

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