New stars in the Milky Way

By: trademagazin Date: 2008. 02. 29. 08:00

Owing to the uncertainty and instability in the world market, there is a lot of excitement in the domestic milk industry, while new trends are also surfacing. – It looks like the price of milk and related products is falling in the EU markets and world-wide, as well – tells us Éva Major Varga, marketing and export director of SOLE-MIZO Zrt. While export seemed very lucrative last year, even the Italian market is not paying more than HUF 82-89 today. As a result of contracts for HUF 90-100 per litre signed with suppliers for the first quarter, the domestic milk industry is finding itself in a difficult position again. According to Bernadett Strasser-Kátai, managing director of MONA Hungary, the price of milk is expected to stabilise around EUR 0.38. Higher prices paid by the milk industry also mean higher prices for consumers, which has lead to a reduction in milk consumption. – As real incomes also dropped in 2007, the effect of rising prices was magnified – says Péter Szautner, director of the Milli division of Friesland Zrt. The expansion of the UHT segment stopped in 2007, while fresh milk including ESL milk showed growth. This is also the trend in Europe. The popularity of UHT milk was largely due to the popularity of hyper markets, whereas discount stores located in the neighbourhoods where people live offer milk which does not have to be kept for several weeks, at similar or lower prices. Extended shelf life milks which are made using a new technology support this concept, because they are richer in vitamins and trace materials than milks heat treated at very high temperatures. Aldi even has ESL milks with a shelf life of 40 days. The number of special products in growing, including lactose-free and bio milks. MONA has been among the first to introduce lactose-free milk and later soya milk in the Hungarian market. In 2008, most new products to be introduced by Friesland will belong to other dairy categories, where new packaging solutions will be used as well. SOLE-MIZO Zrt. has also responded quickly to the new trends by introducing lactose-free and bio milks in recent years. Trade marketing is regarded as having great potential by Friesland. They have sales channel strategies for each of their three leading brands. However, these can only work effectively if retailers co-operate. The communication of MONA is based on their “Everything needed on the breakfast table” concept. They also pay special attention to retailers, as there are many things which consumers need to be taught about breakfast in order for demand to shift towards higher quality products. They have a category management project operated jointly with Tesco, aimed at boosting the sales of soya and bio categories.