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March 14, 2011

UK: Rachel’s eyes international growth

UK-based organic dairy group Rachel's has revealed moves to expand into Saudi Arabia and Malta.

UK-based organic dairy group Rachel’s has revealed moves to expand into Saudi Arabia and Malta.

Speaking to just-food today (14 March) at the IFE event in London, Rachel’s account manager Chris Smith said the group made its first delivery to Saudi Arabia last week and will launch in Malta this week.

He suggested that the group would be moving into “a couple” of new markets in the coming year, but declined to reveal which ones.

Speaking about the group’s other international operations, Smith said Rachel’s has been in the United Arab Emirates for the past three years and has been selling through local grocery operator Spinneys. It has also been present in Singapore and Hong Kong for the past four years.

According to Smith, the Lactalis-owned dairy group is focusing on “aspirational locals” in the UAE and on the expatriate market to a large extent in both Hong Kong and Singapore, but added that “the ex-pat market alone makes the attractiveness of these markets fairly restrictive, so we are planning to convert many local people into Rachel’s regular consumers”.

Describing the group’s UK operations, Smith said that the Rachel’s now accounts for over 30% of the UK organic yoghurt market and that this has grown some 20% over the past 12 months, significantly outperforming the overall organic yogurt market.

However, he said the group sells a “premium product” that does not just trade on its organic offer, but that the company’s success has been down to a “simply gorgeous tasting” product.

Speaking about the organic category, he said that some of the company’s more promotional competitors adopt “an aggressive promotional strategy” while Rachel’s employs a different strategy that has seen consistent strong growth amongst its core consumer base, an ABC1 female between 25-54 years of age. He added that manufacturers like Yeo Valley, who have been targeting a younger consumer through its ad campaign and high levels of promotion said that in the early 20s demographic is “not the traditional heartland for premium organic products”.

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