Local choice

Retailers should offer a wider choice to make the most of milk, argues dairy firm Graham’s.

Graham’s is encouraging C-stores to stock a wider range of milk products to encourage consumers to trade up or try something a little bit different.
Graham’s is encouraging C-stores to stock a wider range of milk products to encourage consumers to trade up or try something a little bit different.

THE days of consumers getting their milk delivered from the farm or dairy down the road may be long gone but Scottish dairy firm Graham’s reckons shoppers are increasingly concerned to keep things local.

“A November 2013 Scotpulse survey revealed the importance of buying local food and drink with 86% of Scots claiming it was important to them that the food they buy is locally produced,” said Carol Graham, marketing director at Graham’s The Family Dairy.
“Our business has grown consistently with sales rising 21% for 2013 and harnessing brand loyalty has been a key part of this success. Our customers recognise that they’re shopping with a family business with its roots in traditional Scottish farming.
“Against a backdrop of increasing foreign ownership of the UK’s largest milk suppliers, our customers aren’t just buying on price. They’re buying for quality and because Graham’s The Family Dairy is a local brand they empathise with and trust,” she said.
She’s pleased about the growth in sales but would, nevertheless, like to see Scottish stores offer a wider milk range.
“While semi-skimmed is still our strongest performing milk, accounting for 64% of our milk sales, our customers are increasingly keen to try other kinds,” she said. “We offer a comprehensive range for all types of consumers at a range of price points, from semi-skimmed and others in our core range to Light and Low, Gold and Organic.
“We’ve seen significant year on year growth of 42% from sales of Graham’s Gold milk. We have the largest herd of Jersey cows in Scotland and so producing this deliciously indulgent milk is close to our hearts.
“Another really strong performer has been our Light and Low milk with sales growing by 65%. This milk has half the fat content (0.8g) of semi-skimmed yet competes on flavour.
“These growth figures show consumers are prepared to try new milks and switch their habits for the right alternative to semi-skimmed. In our experience, they’re shopping for taste and healthy options rather than purely on price.
“We’d love to see a greater range of milks stocked in C-stores. Not only would this encourage consumers to understand the diverse choice out there, it would also induce customers to increase the level of shopping they do within that store.”
Robert Graham, managing director at Graham’s, also stressed choice, saying: “For us, the key to the relationship with convenience stores is offering a cohesive range of products from Gold, Core and Organic to Light and Low. That way, all consumers and all price points are catered for.
“Stores are only really convenient if the customer’s shopping experience allows them to choose from a range that is right for them, at the right price.”