Australian dairy giant reports on marketing success for its brands

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th November 2012

One of Australia’s largest dairy groups, Murray Goulburn (MG), in its 2011– 12 annual report released at the start of November 2012, has revealed that sales of its food service products grew by 10 per cent over the past year.

MG’s retail products presence also grew to 35 per cent of total sales.

Devondale re-launched

Devondale as MG’s main retail brand continued to grow. Devondale long-life milk performed strongly and was the market leader in the long-life milk category. In 2011–12 MG’s long life milk sales volume grew 4.4 per cent against a market that grew 3.4 per cent. Devondale dairy blends and Devondale block cheese also increased market share, with MG’s block cheese becoming the market-leading brand in Woolworths.

During 2011-12, the Devondale website was re-launched and a Facebook page for Devondale almost instantly generated more than 11,000 likes.

Lactose-free Liddell’s brand growth

The lactose-free Liddell’s brand continued to perform strongly, increasing well in supermarkets and its sales revenue growing by 17.7 per cent over the year.

Kiewa flavoured-milk development

The Kiewa flavour-milk brand performed well, and sales revenue grew by 3.9 per cent and expanded into new flavours.

Food service successes

The food service division supplies restaurant kitchens and food outlets throughout Australia. In 2011–12 it achieved sales revenue growth of 10.4 per cent in a very competitive market. This year, the focus was on consolidating customer engagement, service levels and relationships and these efforts were rewarded by a NAFDA Chairman’s Award for excellence in the food service industry.

Food supplements business grows

MG Nutritionals specializes in nutritional products backed by research and clinical trials. In 2011–12, MG Nutritionals achieved sales revenue growth in the retail sports protein range, Ascend. MG also reported sales revenue growth in the meal replacement shakes range, Proform.

Ascend product distribution expanded into petrol and convenience channels and sponsored athletes, including Olympic marathon runner Lisa Weightman, the Melbourne Heart Football Club, and the Sydney University Football Club.

MG Nutritionals’ range of infant nutrition powders, “NatraStart” continued to be marketed into China via business in Qingdao. MG Nutritionals also supports a portfolio of research programs, from human clinical trials through to participation in the dairy Health & Nutrition Consortium. Research partners include several universities across Australia and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

Expansion into Asia and the Middle East

MG has announced that its strategic focus would be on immediate regions within Asia, Pacific and the Middle East. New offices have or are being opened in Singapore, Vietnam and Dubai, to complement current Japan and China operations.

“These are exciting markets with large populations and growing spending power and importantly increasing per capita dairy foods consumption,” said Murray Goulburn Managing Director, Gary Helou.

Total export volume for 2011-12 was at 304K tonnes, 77 per cent of which was accounted for by Asia. This was followed by the Middle East and the Americas which accounted for 10 per cent and 6 per cent of export volume respectively.