Moo-ving on up!
Major changes are afoot in Ireland’s dairy sector. From April of this year, dairy farmers will be freed from the restrictions of the EU quota system, which could be worth €1.3 billion per annum to our economy. One constant that remains unchanged however, is that innovation continues to result in the best-selling brands performing ahead of the market
11 March 2015 | 0
AT A GLANCE: DAIRY
- The Department of Health’s food pyramid recommends three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day as part of a balanced diet (increasing to five daily servings for those aged 9-18 years)
- There are currently 18,000 dairy farmers in Ireland
- Ireland supplies 10% of the global infant milk formula
- Ireland’s dairy exports are estimated to be worth €3.06 billion
- It is predicted that Ireland’s dairy production will grow by 50% to over 7.5 billion litres by 2020
- In April 2015, Irish dairy farmers will be released from the milk quota system which has restricted the amount of milk they can produce each year. Economists estimate this could to be worth €1.3 billion per annum to our economy with the potential to create 15,000 additional jobs
- Irish dairy farms are 100% family owned with an average of 65 cows in each herd. These cows each produce over 5, 000 litres of milk every year
- Müller ended 2014 on a high note as the number one supplier in the market and with a record share of 21.6% of the fresh dairy product (FDP) category in Ireland*
- More households buy Müller than any other yogurt brand in Ireland, with 32,000 new households converting to the brand in 2014*
- Throughout 2014 Müller Corner maintained its position as the number one brand within adult yogurts with a 13.8% share*
- Within the FDP category, Greek Style yogurt has been a success and has delivered the strongest growth seen in the category in recent times (+35% year-on-year)*
- Müller is a clear leader in the Greek sector with an almost 40% share of sales**
- Since launching in August, more than 120,000 Irish households have already bought Müller Bliss Corner***
- Müller Bliss Corner achieved the highest repeat rate of any FDP category launch in 2014****
- Nielsen yellow fats data has shown that Connacht Gold’s Butter is performing ahead of the category and is in continued growth year-on-year*****
- Connacht Gold Low Fat, Softer and Unsalted butters are all positioned in the top 10 products contributing to category growth in retailers*****
*(Source: Kantar 52 w/e 4 Jan 2015)
**(Source: Nielsen Scantrak 52 w/e 25 Jan 2015)
***(Source: Kantar 52 w/e 4 Jan 2015)
****(Source: Dunnhumby 18 weeks post launch)
*****(Source: Nielsen MAT Data to 28/12/14 year-on-year yellow fats)
Baking and in-home entertainment have experienced a real resurgence in recent years, as programmes such as TV3’s ‘The Great Irish Bake-off’ demonstrate. Naturally, this has benefitted sales of butter and cream. The dairy category has also been aided by the work of The National Dairy Council (NDC). It is currently running a three year campaign, ‘Irish Dairy: Sustainable and Nutritious by Nature’ which effectively communicates Irish dairy products’ advantages to the Irish public. Bord Bia has also pointed out that the Irish farmhouse cheese sector is a contributor to the dairy industry’s high quality and sustainable reputation; valued at more than €12 million per annum at farm gate level.
Quality remains the cornerstone for Irish dairy sector
In April 2015 Irish dairy farmers will be released from the shackles of a milk quota system which has restricted the amount of milk they can produce each year.
This is a great news story both for Irish dairy farmers and for our economy. The Irish dairy sector can now tap into its innovation and creativity in order to strategically look at opportunities to expand.
The effect of that will be felt in terms of a positive contribution to our economy, spread throughout the counties of Ireland. Economists estimate this could to be worth €1.3 billion per annum to our economy with the potential to create 15,000 additional jobs.
The expansion opportunities for Irish dairy rest with exports and particularly with premium milk and milk products. The Irish dairy sector is well positioned for this because over many decades, it has established a reputation worldwide as a top quality provider of pasture-based dairy produce.
Consumers in Ireland understand the assurance that comes with buying local milk or dairy produce in terms of taste, nutritional credentials and quality across the board; and the contribution that makes towards supporting family farms within their local economy.
The farmers who compete annually in the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards understand quality in a complete sense. It’s about consistently high standards in terms of food hygiene throughout the year – but also extends into strong values about animal health and welfare, care for the environment and sustainability.
As the sector prepares for expansion, quality remains the cornerstone for the Irish dairy sector to build new opportunities based on innovative and premium produce.
We in Ireland are extremely fortunate that Irish dairy farmers are in a position to expand whilst staying true to those quality values. We continue to have predominantly family farms who have huge pride in what they do and can look at expansion in a very sustainable way – based on having cows out in fields of grass.
The National Dairy Council intends to play its part in helping to unlock the potential for the dairy sector. The NDC current strategy, ‘Irish Dairy: Sustainable & Nutritious by Nature’ is rooted in provenance, quality and the excellence of our dairy produce.
With a solid reputation as the experts in dairy, underpinned by evidence-based nutritional science, the NDC strategy continues to showcase the excellence of our pasture-based dairy farming and produce to diverse audiences – ranging from health professionals to consumers, extending to school-going children and young people.
Added value offering
Glanbia continues to lead the way in the dairy category with value added propositions across several segments. Glanbia’s Super Milk brand leads its value added milk offering. The brand’s new through-the-line campaign which launched in February is the biggest campaign ever in the milk category.
Entitled ‘Playground of Life’, the campaign dramatizes the importance of Vitamin D for everyone in Ireland. It encourages consumers to make the switch to Avonmore Super Milk as it contains all the daily Vitamin D one needs in just one glass.
The campaign includes 20 and 40 second TV commercials running on RTÉ, TV3, TG4, Sky, E4, More 4 and Channel 4. This will be further supported by ‘video on demand’, national and local radio advertising and out of home at in-store point of purchase, on six sheets, 48 sheets and 240 sheets, as well as through Avonmore’s social media channels. Digital display ads will also feature across RTÉ, Independent News and Media and The Irish Times, as well as online forums that target mums in particular.
The Avonmore brand has a successful history of innovation within value added milk. NPD plays a key role in shifting perceptions of milk – from ‘complementary product’ to a credible carrier of health and wellness benefits. 2014 saw the launch of Avonmore Protein Milk, Avonmore’s first product in the sports nutrition space. Avonmore Protein Milk was created to deliver a great tasting protein product which could be used throughout the day and easily integrated into consumers’ mealtimes.
“We are happy with our position 10 months in, we’ve had a successful launch and continue to make progress – we brought the 500ml variant on board much sooner than anticipated as a direct response to consumer demand” commented Stuart Scott, brand manager. “To maximise sales it’s vital to place the 500ml variant in a front of store position to meet the needs of those who are looking for a post exercise drink on-the-go.”
Continual focus on innovation
Müller ended 2014 on a high note as the number one supplier in the market and with a record share of 21.6% of the fresh dairy product category in Ireland*. More households now buy Müller than any other brand in Ireland and a key success factor has been converting 32,000 new households to the brand in 2014*. Although total market value is declining there have been improvements at sector level since last year. But the category still faces the issue of lost shoppers, especially in the sectors of functional drinks and now functional yogurts*.
However, the outlook remains positive at Müller Dairy with the focus for 2015 on injecting value growth back into the category through innovative product launches and incremental brand expansion.
Müller Corner – Still the family favourite
Throughout 2014 Müller Corner maintained its position as the number one brand within adult yogurts with a 13.8% share*. To celebrate this, Müller Corner has renewed its successful sponsorship of RTÉ’s smash hit TV show The Voice of Ireland for another year. The brand believes 2015 promises to deliver an even bigger and better support campaign with upweighted in-store activation, a bespoke Müller Corner six-pack for Ireland, ticket giveaways and the nationwide Red Chair tour.
Displaying some Greek flair
Within the FDP category, Greek Style yogurt has been a success story and has delivered the strongest growth seen in the category in recent times (+35% year-on-year)*. Müller is a clear leader in the Greek sector with almost a 40% share of sales** and 2014 saw another two major launches from Müller.
First to market in July was Müllerlight Greek Style Fruitopolis – a range of thick and creamy tasting fat-free Greek style yogurts with a sumptuous fruit layer on top. This contains less than 90 calories per pot. It has since been awarded Product of the Year 2015 in the Healthy Yogurt category by TNS. The current range of four-packs includes Strawberry and Peach & Passionfruit and the next flavour to hit the shelves will be Summer Berries in April.
Next up was new Müller Bliss Corner, a tasty, thick Greek Style yogurt that has been gently whipped to give it a unique, creamy texture. Since launching in August more than 120,000 Irish households have already bought Bliss Corner***. It also achieved the highest repeat rate of any FDP category launch in 2014**** meaning that Irish consumers just keep coming back for more. Currently available in four flavours: Strawberry, Raspberry, Lemon and Almond Clusters with a fifth Mango & Passionfruit joining the line-up in April.
Michael Inpong, chief marketing officer for Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, says: “Müller Bliss Corner marked yet another major new launch for us. Consumers continue to crave Greek Style yogurt in new and interesting ways, and we’re delighted to offer them the chance to discover a brand new, creamy texture within our Greek Style Corner range.”
*(Source: Kantar 52 w/e 4 Jan 2015)
**(Source: Nielsen Scantrak 52 w/e 25 Jan 2015)
***(Source: Kantar 52 w/e 4 Jan 2015)
****(Source: Dunnhumby 18 weeks post launch)
Premium quality you can trust
Truly Irish Country Foods, the farmer’s brand, has established itself as a leading producer of premium quality award-winning Irish food products and has now launched its own Truly Irish Creamery Butter.
The Irish dairy industry is renowned worldwide for its sustainable grass-based production system, producing high quality and nutritious dairy products. The soft Atlantic rain and the warmth of the Gulf Stream give Ireland a temperate climate where cows are kept outdoors on lush green pastures for over 300 days a year. Irish dairy farms are 100% family owned with an average of 65 cows in each herd. These cows each produce over 5000 litres of rich creamy milk every year.
Truly Irish Creamery Butter is produced by traditional churning, the same method which has been used for centuries in Ireland. The brand’s traditional small batch production ensures its butter is a natural source of calcium, protein and nutrients and is free from artificial colourings, flavourings and additives.
Just like the premium bacon and pork products that Truly Irish is renowned for, the new Truly Irish Creamery Butter is 100% Irish, has a great taste and is fully traceable back to Irish farms. The brand’s tagline is ‘Truly Irish – Premium Quality you can Trust’.
Truly Irish Country Foods is currently in discussions with distributors and multiples to progress listings.
To find out more about Truly Irish Creamery Butter, contact Truly Irish on 069 78339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winning the taste test
Real butter is back, and findings from Nielsen yellow fats data has shown that Connacht Gold’s Butter is performing well ahead of the category and is in continued growth year-on- year*. This is a significant position for the brand as the overall yellow fats category is experiencing a decline in sales.
Results from an independent sensory analysis competitor benchmarking report conducted by St Angela’s Food Technology Centre has resulted in Connacht Gold Low Fat Butter being deemed the number one choice for taste versus competitor brands in a blind tasting, and combined with the brand’s Great Taste and Blás na hEireann accolades, Connacht Gold is certainly winning the taste test.
Connacht Gold has invested in its Low Fat Butter through an integrated ‘real butter’ campaign over the past two years and will continue to invest in the brand throughout 2015 – the first campaign will feature Connacht Gold Low Fat Butter on national and regional radio, along with press, online and in-store tastings right across the country in the coming weeks. The key message of the campaign highlights that Connacht Gold Low Fat is real butter with half the fat.
Connacht Gold also teamed up with RTÉ last autumn to sponsor its food series ‘Rachel Allen: All Things Sweet’, adding value for its Softer and Unsalted butters as the trend towards home baking and cooking continues.
Connacht Gold Low Fat, Softer and Unsalted butters are all positioned in the top 10 products contributing to category growth in retailers*, and the brand continues to innovate in the category with the launch of two new gourmet butters towards the end of 2014 – Connacht Gold Butter with Sea Salt and Connacht Gold Cracked Pepper Butter.
*(Source: Nielsen MAT Data to 28/12/14 year-on-year yellow fats)
Q & A with…
Catherine Logan, head nutritionist, National Dairy Council
What contribution does dairy make to the average national diet?
Dairy products fall among the staple foods of the Irish diet, making a significant contribution to our national diet. The Department of Health’s food pyramid highlights the importance of these foods – with three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group recommended each day as part of a balanced diet (increasing to five daily servings for those aged 9-18 years). Results from the National Adult Nutrition Survey indicate that the mean number of daily servings from this food group is just two servings per day among Irish adults 18-64 years of age. Nevertheless, the nutritional contribution of this food group is very evident, providing, for example, 39% of calcium intake, 35% of vitamin B12 intake and 13% of protein intake among Irish adults (18-64 years).
Do you think Irish children are receiving enough dairy in their diets?
Specific national dietary intake data among children is quite dated – but looking at the National Children’s Food Survey, 37% of girls and 28% of boys aged 5–12 years were reported to have inadequate calcium intakes. The National Teens’ Food Survey also demonstrated a significant prevalence of insufficient calcium intakes among Irish teens 13-17 years of age, especially in females (42% of teenage girls and 23% of teenage boys). Milk, yogurt and cheese are among the best sources of dietary calcium; and including these products within a balanced diet may assist in addressing certain nutritional shortfalls. The National Dairy Council has a number of resources which aim to educate and assist this audience with well-informed dietary and lifestyle choices.
This is an exciting time for the dairy sector – how will things change for the dairy industry from April onwards?
We currently have 18,000 dairy farmers in Ireland and have already seen growth in dairy exports. Our reputation for quality and pasture based sustainable practices is very important. For example, Ireland supplies 10% of the global infant milk formula. Dairy exports are already estimated to be worth €3.06 billion. It is predicted that dairy production will grow by 50% to over 7.5bn litres by 2020.
What are the current key areas in relation to dairy protein?
Dairy offers a high quality source of protein with research exploring how dairy protein can benefit muscle adaptation to exercise. This is of huge interest to athletes and those involved in sports nutrition. Dairy protein comprises of whey and casein protein, and we can already see a number of sports nutrition products on the market exploiting the benefits of these proteins. Similarly, dairy protein can be very relevant to healthy ageing – which is a very pertinent area at present considering the trends in population ageing. Skeletal muscle mass and strength decline naturally with age. Nutrition and lifestyle strategies aiming to preserve and/or increase muscle mass with advancing age are of huge interest. Protein has been identified as a key nutrient in this regard, with the application of dairy protein currently being explored.
An EU Cheese Programme was secured in October. Can you tell us how this is going?
The NDC is delighted to have secured some funding to support our work promoting cheese. The campaign is called ‘Cheese up your life’ and its objective is to highlight the taste, versatility and convenience of cheese to Irish consumers. You will see it integrated within National Dairy Week in April through print, radio and social media. It will also be the focus of a new dimension to Moo Crew, our programme for primary school children, educating children about the taste, versatility and origins of cheese as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.