New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is teaming up with e-commerce firm Lazada to take its products into south-east Asia.

Fonterra said it is the first time the company has partnered with an online portal in the region, with brands such as Anmum, Fernleaf and Anchor to be made available to 560 million customers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Under the deal, Lazada gets the exclusive rights to distribute Fonterra’s Anchor Full Cream Milk Powder in Indonesia, marking a debut in that market for the brand. 

Anindya Dasgupta, the New Zealand cooperative’s global chief marketing and sales officer, said: ”Our relationship with Lazada is a key milestone in our journey to share the goodness of dairy with more people around the world, and grow dairy consumption across south-east Asia. Consumers in south-east Asia are becoming more discerning as their incomes grow, demanding more nutritious and high-quality foods, and using technology more widely in their daily lives. This means more consumers are shopping online for essentials such as dairy.”

Having launched in 2012, Lazada encompasses 3,000 brands. China’s Alibaba Group invested US$2bn in the company in March, taking its total investment to $4bn. It is unknown what stake the Chinese partner holds.

The new partnership with Fonterra will also aim to ”test out markets and products most suited for the online environment, and drive new innovations in marketing”.

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By GlobalData

Lazada’s chief business officer, Robin Mah, said: “We are thrilled to be the first e-commerce partner in south-east Asia to Fonterra, a global leader in dairy nutrition. It is a recognition of the consumers in south-east Asia, the importance of understanding their unique needs and engaging them.”