Keytone launches new plant-based range and updates on orders and lockdown

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tonik Plant is the new product from Keytone Dairy.
Tonik Plant is the new product from Keytone Dairy.

Related tags: plant-based, Dairy, China, Walmart, Milk powder, coronavirus, COVID-19

Keytone Dairy Corporation Limited has announced the launch of a new proprietary product range, Tonik Plant, the largest order received from Walmart China to date and provided an update on the recently announced Stage 3 and Stage 4 lockdowns in the State of Victoria, Australia in relation to the ongoing response to COVID-19.

Following the creation and roll-out of the company’s Tonik brand, Keytone has launched a new proprietary product range under the brand, Tonik Plant. Tonik Plant is the first vegan/plant based ready-to-drink protein shake in the Australian marketplace and has been developed, manufactured and commercialized in-house by the company’s product development team.

Tonik Plant has been developed in response to rapidly growing demand for plant-based health products and in particular to capitalize on the top global trends for food; namely plant based foods, better for you snacking and health food on demand.

Tonik Plant has six flavor SKUs, which are manufactured at the company’s in-house ready-to-drink bottling facility in Melbourne. A selection of the current retailers selling Tonik Plant nationally through the initial indent period include independent supermarkets, Ritchies IGA Group and Romeos IGA Group, Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness. Further ranging through the Keytone branded distribution channels is expected shortly.

Keytone’s CEO, Danny Rotman, said, “We are extremely excited to launch Tonik Plant and have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback and reception received from our customers, wholesalers and distributors in relation to Australia’s first vegan-based protein shake. There are a number of ongoing discussions for ranging opportunities for Tonik Plant which will further drive the Tonik brand and Tonik Plant in the near future.”

Trading and COVID-19 update

Keytone has received confirmed purchase orders from Walmart (China) Investment Co. Ltd for more than $1.1m production in Christchurch, New Zealand due for delivery in October 2020. The order is the largest order received to date and is 1.3x larger than Walmart’s prior order. The orders are increasing in size and frequency and with increased manufacturing capacity, Keytone said it is well placed to service this growing demand.

Walmart China places orders for private label milk powders under their Sam’s Club brand, operating 26 Sam’s Club megastores today through China.

Notwithstanding the Stage 3 and recently announced Stage 4 lockdowns in Melbourne, Victoria, Keytone reaffirmed its status as an essential food manufacturer.

Furthermore, all of Keytone’s facilities outside of Victoria; in Christchurch, New Zealand and Sydney, New South Wales, continue to operate as normal.

The company said it will continue to operate a flexible and diversified operational base at all six manufacturing sites across New Zealand and Australia, thereby mitigating any potential impacts of a COVID-19 infection presenting at any one facility.

During the Stage 3 lockdown in Melbourne, Victoria, the company’s facilities have continued to operate in full. The month of July has recorded strong sales growth across all Keytone divisions including Proprietary Brands and Contract Manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand (excluding the Walmart order).

Keytone has also launched its direct-to-consumer milk powders website, keydairy.co, for the sale of its KeyDairy whole and skim milk powders.

“Despite the unprecedented times in Victoria and the newly announced Stage 4 restrictions, we confirm the Victorian Government’s advice that as an essential food manufacturer we will continue to operate through the lockdown period, enabling us to service the growing demand of our client base, including that of our international clients such as Walmart China,”​ Rotman said.

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