The company, which is the product of a November 2011-agreed joint venture between Müller Wiseman Dairies (then Robert Wiseman Dairies) and A2 Corporation (A2C), produces and markets a2 milk in the UK and Ireland.
a2 milk is rich in A2 beta-casein proteins, but contains no A1 beta-casein proteins. A1 proteins digest differently to A2 proteins and have been linked to digestive discomfort.
The product has proved popular in Australia and currently holds a 6.4% share of the fresh milk market – a benchmark a2 Milk UK intends to work towards.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, a2 Milk UK CEO Sean Uprichard said that the company has every confidence that the a2 milk brand will prove as popular in the UK as it has Down Under.
UK and Australia “comparable markets”
“Sales are entirely expected to follow the dynamic demonstrated in Australia; this is a slow build as a2 first establishes its credentials among those with milk related issues before building into the mainstream as milk with a perceived wider health benefit,” said Uprichard.
“A steady upward trend is what we expected – based on progressively raised consumer’s awareness driven by a strong and systematic marketing programme and through broadening distribution – and this is what we are seeing.”
According to Uprichard, the UK and Australia are “comparable markets” in terms of dairy issue sufferers.
“The UK and Australia have comparable markets – the UK is larger but the one in five that suffers with dairy issues is consistent across both countries.”
“The target therefore is to reproduce the Australia success here in the UK,” he said.
“Extremely busy” 12 months
In the year since its creation, a2 Milk UK has recruited 20 dairy farmer suppliers and has established a retail base of almost 1,000 stores across the UK.
Now its foundations are set, a2 Milk UK intends to turn its attention to boosting consumer understanding of its product – drafting in Australian singer Dannii Minogue to spread the word in the UK.
“It has been an extremely bust 12 months since the JV was announced,” said Uprichard.
“To have moved from development to in-market activation in such a short period of time reflects the commitment of the JV stakeholders and the passion of the a2 Milk UK team in wanting to bring a2 to the UK as quickly and effectively as possible,” he added.