Consumers snub Arla's Mini30 milk

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Arla Marketing

Arla Foods is scrapping its lower calorie Mini30 milk in Denmark
only six months after the product was launched, because consumers
do not like the taste.

Arla said sales had been disappointing for its Mini30 milk, which contains the same amount of calcium and protein as its Minimilk drink but 30 per cent less calories.

The decision to pull the product is a blow to Arla's efforts to win back market share in Denmark by targeting consumer health trends, and more specifically, calorie-counting women.

"We believe consumers have not been able to get used to the different taste that Mini30 has,"​ said Arla spokesperson Louis Honoré to​.

The firm cut calories in the milk by using new technology to filter out half the sugars present in its Minimilk drink. The result, however, was a more watery texture.

"We knew from the beginning this could be a long shot,"​ said Honoré. "The milk market is very conservative, so we knew it could be difficult, even though consumer research showed us there was a good possibility of success."

Honoré refused to rule out some sort of comeback for Mini30 in the future, and said Arla would continue to tap consumer health trends in Denmark.

This, he said, was likely to include offering younger women, including teenagers, different types of milk products to suit their tastes. "This is a group of Danish consumers who do not get the amount of calcium they need."

The firm declined to say how much money it had lost on the Mini30 adventure, which was also an important initiative to win back market share on the 500m-litre Danish milk market.

Arla's share has fallen from around 89 per cent in 2003 to 80 per cent today, faced with rising imports of cheap milk from Germany. Some consumers have also turned against Arla after it was investigated and recently fined by Danish authorities for abusing its dominant market position.

The group has fought the influx of German milk with its own discount product, called 'Danmaelk'. Honoré said 'Danmaelk' was progressing well and had a higher market share in the discount sector than its German rivals.

Arla has also increasingly pushed its export business. The firm only makes about 15 per cent of its €6.2bn annual sales (2004/05) in Denmark, with the UK and Sweden much stronger markets.

It also signed a milk powder supply deal in China last year, and last week agreed to buy Danish cheesemaker Tholstrup, opening up more business in the US. The fallout from a boycott of Danish products across the Middle East, however, still threatens to blight Arla's international revenue this year.

Related topics Ingredients Fresh Milk Arla Foods

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