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Asia Pacific: Fonterra’s butter brand engages consumers in China

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Fonterra has boosted the availability of its Anchor Dairy Foods’ product range in China, increasing the number of stores it sells into from 1,400 to 1,700 in recent months and retailing online.

It also launched a mobile app campaign inviting users to share breakfast recipes using various dairy ingredients.

Fonterra says more than 8,000 recipes were shared during December 2016 and January 2017 by shoppers who bought Anchor products.

About 70% of the recipes shared were Western-style dishes such as breakfast paninis and omelettes, while 30% were Chinese-inspired dishes such as sweet potato cream soup, toast rolls with peanuts, and cheese and egg breakfast cups.

“Breakfast as we know it is changing in China,” said Chester Cao, VP of brands for Greater China.

“As incomes rise and the middle class grows, we are seeing greater demand for Western-style breakfast items such as butter, cheese and cream.”

To promote dairy as essential, everyday breakfast food, Fonterra’s campaign also involved a number of chef demonstrations, including one by Michelin star holder Steven Liu who staged a cooking event in Shanghai in December 2016.

The campaign also included digital advertising and activation with China-based food delivery app Eleme, which generated 89 million impressions among app users.

“It’s great to see a high level of engagement with our campaign and with our products,” said Christina Zhu, president for Fonterra Greater China.

“It reaffirms that there is a growing appetite in China for more high quality dairy ingredients.”

Data from China Customs shows that imports for butter, cream and cheese all rose significantly in the first eleven months of 2016 compared with the year prior, with cream up 57%, cheese up 31% and butter up 21%.

“This increase in demand is significant,” said Zhu.

“It’s driven by factors such as urbanization, rising incomes and a greater desire for more premium items.”

“We’re committed to meeting this demand with the right products in the right places.”