BRITAIN’S milk business is changing fast. Milk is one of the daily essential items that play a major role in just about all convenience stores. But prices in supermarkets and discounters have tumbled in recent times. C-stores have had to respond, often by ranging at least one mainstream milk line as a fighting brand at a competitive price but also by making the most of their top-up and convenience role, ensuring excellent availability of a range that meets the needs of store customers.
The milk industry is changing fast on the supplier side too with some very significant mergers and consolidations occurring in the major milk producing and processing companies.
One of the biggest changes has now been finalised with the launch of Müller Milk & Ingredients, the new business that has being created by combining the dairy operations of Müller Wiseman Dairies and Dairy Crest.
The new operation, which employs around 10,000 people in 13 dairies and over 70 depots, and processes 25% of milk produced in Britain, can play a major role in invigorating and revitalising the UK’s fresh milk and dairy ingredients sector, according to managing director, Andrew McInnes.
But he said the new business must integrate with pace to realise its potential, while continuing to maintain focus on serving its customers.
“Our aim is to become a successful milk and ingredients business as quickly as possible. To do this we will prioritise the delivery of great products and service, building an engaged workforce, putting in place common systems and processes, and achieving higher levels of competitiveness through savings from combining the two businesses.”
Müller Wiseman Dairies, one of the firms that joined together in the new group, had a very strong position in Scotland over many years, of course, and heavily supported in-store milk category management initiatives. It will also bring considerable experience of high-level marketing activity to the new company.
One of its final programmes in its old guise saw Wiseman’s Black and White Milk run a special on-pack offer linked the festive period linked to the 20th Century Fox release Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie.
At that time the company revealed that Black and White milk was showing volume growth of 3% versus the fresh milk impulse market which was in volume decline, down 4.3%. It had also increased its share of the impulse market from 18% to 19.4% in the preceding year.