Discerning consumers choosing to purchase a wider range of quality milk products has seen Scotland’s largest independent dairy company, Graham’s The Family Dairy, experience considerable growth in its Graham’s branded milk ranges.
The Bridge of Allan-based dairy has enjoyed a steady growth on its entire family of conventional, organic and Jersey of milk products with notable increases in its indulgent Jersey range Graham’s Gold and price-fighting product Graham’s Light and Low.
This strong milk performance is the catalyst to the success of Graham’s other branded products in butter and spreadable butter in particular.
Recent Kantar Worldpanel (52 w/e 2nd September) statistics show that Graham’s branded milk is showing a polar opposite trend against the total market performance year-on-year with more UK shoppers buying into the Graham’s brand and existing customers buying a greater volume of Graham’s branded milk products.
Graham’s conventional milk brand volume sales have grown 41.7% within the Scottish market year-on-year and the Graham’s milk brand has seen 35% volume growth year-on-year within the total UK market. Over the last 12 months, Graham’s milk brand has been purchased by an extra 4.3% of the UK population.
Grahams The Family Dairy introduced organic milk to the market seven years ago, following up with the first Scottish organic butter (unsalted) on the UK market and in 2010, gave the UK market its first taste of 1% fat Organic milk (which won the Dairy Product category of the 2011 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards). In addition, the family-run business also produce Graham’s Gold, a range of products from its award-winning pedigree Jersey herd including milk, a creamy unsalted butter and a double cream.
Such premium products have enjoyed considerable success with Graham’s Gold continuing to increase volume sales by up to 42% year-on-year and 1% Organic “First to Market” adding incremental volume.
In addition, Graham’s price-fighting product, Light and Low, which is available in Asda and Sainsbury’s, as well as the middle ground market primarily through convenience stores, continues to grow from strength-to-strength achieving 65% growth year-on-year.
Driven by the success in milk sales, Graham’s butter range is also performing strongly. Scotland’s first spreadable butter has achieved sales of over 150 tonnes in its first year. Total butter and spreadable butter volume sales have increased by 96% versus the same trading period last year. This increase can be linked to new product listings in brand and private label products as well as increased promotional activity throughout the multiples. Interestingly, the Graham’s The Family Dairy brand continues to perform well against private label, going against the trends within the current market place.
Graham’s The Family Dairy recorded sales of £56 million in the year to 31 March, up from £49.6m in the preceding 12 months.
This success shows the strength of the Graham’s The Family Dairy brand, which is focused on its trusted quality, Scottish roots, traceable provenance, authentic farming and family heritage. The company will build on this in the coming year with a brand new website and social media campaign on the way, bringing the company closer than ever to its loyal customer base. A new PR agency and an ever-stronger presence at the Royal Highland Show will drive this strategy forward.
Graham’s The Family Dairy is stocked in multiple retail outlets to cater for this growing demand but customer feedback and satisfaction is crucial to its success. In store merchandising; sampling and marketing opportunities for the brand is a strategy that attracts more shoppers’ attention to products and promotions. Waitrose’s new Stirling store, for example, has proved a good way of reaching out to new customers with a local, trusted product.
Carol Graham, Marketing Director at Graham’s The Family Dairy and the grand-daughter of the founder, Robert Graham, commented: “At Graham’s The Family Dairy we take a personal pride in the quality of our produce. Our family is passionate about the dairy sector and our customers know they can trust the brand.
“As consumers reach out to brands with a strong provenance, Graham’s is an appealing family brand with strong local ethos. Despite challenging trading conditions, including the rising cost of oil and fuel impacting on distribution and cost of packaging, we’ve continued to win market share and increase sales. This is a testament to our commitment to drive brand; innovate with new product lines and to continuously satisfy our customers.”