This week, Bright Dairy profits from a Chinese yoghurt focus, US retail group Winn-Dixie sell off dairy plants, and impulse buying is found to be the key driver in the UK ice cream market.
Yoghurt shines on Bright Dairy fortunes
China-based Bright Dairy, a former joint venture partner of Danone, has posted strong sales improvements since its split from the French dairy giant, according to press reports.
The company said that sales were up by 30 per cent for January compared to the same period during the previous year, in a statement acquired by the Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
The performance reflected the company's increasing focus on higher-cost products like yoghurts, as well as a planned expansion outside of its core Eastern Chinese customer base, according to Bright Dairy.
Bright Dairy expects further annual sales growth of between 15 to 20 per cent over the next five years, according to the report.
Winn-Dixie announces dairy sell-off
US-based retail group Winn-Dixie Stores has said this week that it will sell two of its US dairies to national producer Southeast Milk to focus on its retail operations.
Through the deal, the company will offload both its Florida-based Plant City facility, and its dairy in Hammond, Louisiana, which will remain in full production under their new management.
Winn-Dixie says it has retained one private label manufacturing plant though in Fitzgerald Georgia.
The company's chief executive officer Peter Lynch said the sale is an important step in meeting the challenges within its retail operations.
"We have concluded that the sale of our dairies is in the Company's best interest as we continue to sharpen our focus on the retail operation of our business," he stated.
UK ice cream bought on impulse
Consumption of ice cream continues to lag behind in comparison to other countries, though opportunities do exist for producers in the fragmented market, according to new research.
The nations consumers spent £1.4bn (€1.8bn) on the product during 2007, predominantly away from the country's major retailers, says market analyst Food Manufacture.
The findings said that the country's major chain grocers accounted for less than a half of the UK's ice cream sales. By comparison, convenience stores and the food service sector were the main sales drivers, highlighting the impulsive nature of UK's ice cream buyers, the report said.