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Dairy Crest to move on-trial UHT Frijj production to UK

By Mark Astley , 27-Nov-2012
Last updated the 27-Nov-2012 at 13:29 GMT

Dairy Crest intends to move production of its new, longer-life UHT Frijj milkshakes from Spain to the UK in anticipation of a successful trial period.

The UK-based dairy processor recently launched a UHT version of its popular Frijj milkshake brand across Britain. During the trial period, chocolate fudge brownie and strawberry-flavoured long-life Frijj milkshakes are available in retail stores in Manchester, London and their surrounding areas.

The firm announced its intentions to launch a smaller-sized, longer-life Frijj milkshake earlier this year.

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, a Dairy Crest spokesperson confirmed that production of the new UHT Frijj products would be moved to the firm’s Severnside processing facility in Gloucester.

The Severnside liquid products processing facility currently employs around 700 people and processes around 500m litres of milk per year.

The spokesperson added that Dairy Crest intends to increase the plant’s processing capacity to facilitate the production move.

Capacity increase investment

“Listening to demand from consumers we are now trialling a longer life Frijj product in a ‘grab and go’ size, made with UHT milk,” said the Dairy Crest spokesperson.

“During the trial, UHT Frijj is to be made in Spain.”

“This is the best option to allow us to test the market with a quality long life milk drink. We expect the trial to be successful and plan to move production to our site at Severnside without delay. We have already started investing in extra capacity to enable us to do this,” the spokesperson added.

Alongside the launch of its UHT Frijj product, Dairy Crest also announced that it would reduce the size of its traditional 500ml bottle to 471ml in an effort to offset the recent increase in raw milk prices.

“In the last year the cost of production of Frijj has gone up significantly, with steep increases in costs for our British dairy farmers who supply us with fresh milk to use in our milkshakes,” the spokesperson added.

“We are now paying more to our farmers and therefore it costs us more to produce Frijj. Following this, we took the decision to make a small reduction in the size of our Frijj packaging.”

Dairies division recovery

In its H1 results, which were published earlier this month, Dairy Crest pinpointed the Frijj brand as a key factor in its attempts to turn around the fortunes of its lagging Dairies division.

In the six months ending 30 September 2012, the firm’s Dairies segment reported a revenue decline of 10.7%. In an effort to reverse the decline, Dairy Crest pledged £75m of investment.

(*Register here for free access to the first ever online event   devoted to Operational Efficiency in food and beverage processing on November 29, organized by our sister site FoodProductionDaily.com and William Reed Business Media.)

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