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Asia Pacific: Irish Dairy Board launches Whole Milk in China

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The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has launched in China Whole Milk under its new Kerrygold Chinese trade mark, 金凯利.

This announcement is a key part in IDB’s strategy to develop premium dairy products for markets in milk deficit regions.

China will be an immediate route to market for additional milk Irish farmers will produce when milk quotas are removed in April 2015.

“We are entering an exciting time for the Irish dairy sector as milk quotas are abolished from next April. The development of premium dairy products and the building of routes to markets, in particular in emerging dairy markets like China, are essential if we are to deliver on our objectives under Food Harvest 2020,” says Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD.

Kerrygold Whole Milk will be sold through major Chinese retailers, regional shopping networks and e-commerce retailers and supported by a marketing campaign that focuses on ‘Craftsmanship’.

Extensive consumer insight research found that Chinese shoppers responded positively to the image of Ireland as a pure, green island, with clean family farms, where the tradition of craftsmanship is married with the modern technology required to ensure high standards of safety and quality production.

Marketing investment will be focused on in-store visibility and sampling programs in addition to driving brand awareness through social media and search engine marketing.

The ceremony also marked IDB’s recent investment in its in-market infrastructure in China.

With teams now in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, IDB China plans to double its ‘feet on the street’ by 2015.

In preparation for the removal of milk quotas, the IDB has been expanding its in-market operations worldwide, placing more staff in-market, working alongside its consumers, customers, distributors and local partners.

In the last 12 months, IDB has expanded operations in the UK, Spain, Germany, America, Africa, the Middle East and now China.

The Chinese liquid milk market is estimated to be worth €18 billion (US$22.52 billion) with an annual growth rate of over 10%.

More than 11 billion liters of liquid milk are consumed in China each year, compared with 670 million liters in Ireland.

Kerrygold will be marketed in China, as in most other countries, as a premium imported product.

The premium segment of the milk market incorporates 28% of milk volume and 45% of the value of the market.

It is estimated that this market segment includes over 186 million households in China.