Dairy Crest launches 3 year strategy for dairy growth - 'Dairy for Life'


As a nation, we love Dairy - it’s found in nearly every UK household and on average we each spend £398 a year on it1. Worth over £10bn1, the Dairy market is bigger than Soft Drinks and Frozen Food combined. However, the category has plateaued over recent years and in today’s ever-changing marketplace, in which consumers are more financially pressured, more spend savvy and more demanding of suppliers and retailers, delivering top-line growth is challenging.

In the face of this market dynamic Dairy Crest has undertaken an extensive category strategy project with Kantar Retail, amassing and analysing a wealth of consumer, shopper and retailer insight to inform a new three year Dairy growth strategy - Dairy for Life. This approach ensures that change is anticipated and that the right opportunities are prioritised to be ‘fit for future’.

Dairy for Life encapsulates Dairy Crest’s vision to move Dairy from ‘simple fridge filler’ to being a source of daily inspiration; an opportunity estimated to have a potential worth of £821m for the category (+8% compound annual growth).

The strategy provides a framework for category growth in Dairy using five key drivers, which are based on changing consumer and/ or shopper behaviour:

Care for Me/ My Family

Encouraging consumers to adopt, or re-adopt, dairy products as part of a balanced lifestyle and/ or to address specific health needs

Meal Makers

Driving more use of dairy products as an ingredient, to enhance flavour or as a cooking aid, providing convenience and enjoyment in the preparation of everyday meals

Positive Snacking

Driving the relevance of dairy for more nutritious snacking both in home and on the go, by providing the right formats in the right place with relevant communication

Value the Versatility

Encouraging consumers to incorporate more dairy into their daily lives through demonstrating its versatility and nutritional value

Excite my Senses

Delivering new taste and texture experiences to surprise and delight the senses, encouraging consumers to build their repertoire of dairy

Recognising that within the Dairy category there are different dynamics, Dairy Crest has also delved deeper into five Dairy sub-categories (Cheese, Butters, Spreads and Oils, Dairy Drinks, Milk and Cream) to build a tailored growth strategy for each that recognises category specificities and introduces new growth drivers where relevant. ‘Live Life on the Move’ is one such driver and highlights the opportunity to grow on-the-go consumption of Dairy Drinks, a category under-represented in many out of home drinks chillers currently.

Dairy for Life is not a one-time activation plan by Dairy Crest, but rather a collaborative way of working to deliver long term gains for the category,” says Martyn Wilks, Executive Managing Director, Dairy Crest. “The drivers represent a universal opportunity and both suppliers and retailers alike have a part to play in bringing them to life to maximise the growth potential."

Dairy Crest has made considerable investment to undertake this category strategy project across not one, but five Dairy categories. This demonstrates our recognition that it is no longer enough to look only to our brands; future growth means working together to grow the overall categories in which we operate. With this in mind, we have reviewed our innovation pipeline to ensure that all our plans for the future are aligned to deliver total category growth and we will be constantly tracking and reviewing our performance against this.”

The launch of the Dairy for Life vision and strategy is well underway, with a number of major retailers already engaged. Dairy Crest will be rolling out to all channels over the coming months.