More food brands emphasizing differences from supermarket homebrands

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th June 2012

After Australian Food News reported that the Dairy Farmers and Pura Milk brands had decided to make permeate-free milk, allowing contrast with the supermarket homebrand milks, other milk brands are declaring their milk is permeate-free.

Aussie Farmers Direct has joined the fray to declare itself to be “a proud and committed national producer of totally Australian milk, with ‘no added permeate’, since it started processing milk down at its ‘Aussie Farmers Dairy’ in South West Victoria a year ago”.

Braeden Lord, CEO of Aussie Farmers Direct, commented, “We wanted to do the right thing for our farmers and customers by shunning modern practices to increase volumes by adding permeate.” He said Aussie Farmers Direct, the largest Australian-owned, home-delivered supplier of milk, won gold and silver at the Dairy Industry Association of Australia’s (DIAA) National Awards of Excellence, held in Melbourne last month.

Another dairy brand, A2 Corporations, also makes clear that its a2 Milk “does not contain any permeate or any other additives which is why it tastes so refreshing, as real milk should taste”.

According to food marketing legal expert Joe Lederman, the marketing focus against permeate raises a number of interesting issues of relevance to other food suppliers.

“First of all, it is an illustrative case study of marketers using a compositional point-of-difference as a marketing tool against the rival supermarket homebrands.

“Secondly, it illustrates that the marketing focus for the suppliers has switched to a claim of quality over quantity with emphasis on the quality being authenticity.

“Thirdly, it points a finger at the rival in the homebrand product as a mass-production commodity, despite the product category (milk) itself being a commodity,” Mr Lederman said.

“Potentially, marketing about manufacturing qualities could raise other customer expectations about fresh milk, such as it not being a reconstituted product,” he said. “This became an issue between manufacturers of fruit juices several years ago,” he noted.