Murray Goulburn revamps its dairy brands in innovation push

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th September 2012

One of Australia’s biggest dairy groups, Murray Goulburn (MG), is undergoing a revolution. Under the leadership of Managing Director Gary Helou, who assumed the position in October 2011, MG is now focused on expansion into new markets with innovative products and revamping of old brands.

Australian Food News reported earlier this year that MG had increased their dairy marketing presence across Asia.

MG’s iconic dairy brand, Devondale, has been given a fresh new look, including a new logo and a range of new dairy consumer products. Previously, MG has focused on its bulk commodity milk products with Devondale as an exception. The group is now developing a stronger consumer market orientation.

General Manager of Devondale’s marketing, innovations and special products, Suzanne Douglas, said that the packaging re-launch was aimed at modernizing the brand and depicting the unique nature of the organization.

“Devondale is an iconic Australian brand which is 100% owned by Aussie farmer families. We aim to return the Devondale brand to its rightful place,” Ms Douglas said.

The fact that MG is one of Australia’s last remaining farming and food marketing co-operatives, is arguably a strong selling point for its brands. According to a recent CHOICE survey reported by Australian Food News, consumers of  fresh produce in Australia are looking for locally sourced product and would love to be buying directly from the farmer.

MG is owned by 2500 Australian farming families, and the new-look Devondale brand and logo is at the forefront.

MG  produces around 3 billion litres of milk annually, which is about a third of Australia’s milk. All of the returns generated from the production of Devondale products go its farmers.

The new-look packaging and products will be available nationwide from late September 2012.

The appointment of Mr Helou in October 2011, followed the retirement of Stephen O’Rourke in November 2010 after 25 yearsin the group. During Mr O’Rourke’s 13 year tenure as Managing Director, Murray Goulburn had grown revenues by nearly $1.5 billion to peak at more than $2.5 billion; with domestic sales more than doubling to over $1 billion, and shareholder equity increasing to more than $700 million.

However, the current MG board seems confident that the new consumer goods focus will yield substantial returns and growth.