Last year there was a flurry of activity as the two major dairy processors, Agropur and Saputo purchased Ling standing independent processors in Canada.
This consolidation creates a duopoly in many markets which will hopefully foster competition in the dairy aisle as both companies push to gain market share at each other’s expense.
Beyond manufacturing and processing efficiencies and better negotiating power with retailers, one major opportunity is the ability to launch and support national brands vs. local power houses so that marketing spend is more effective and efficient.
Agropur has started advertising its Natrel brand on a national basis and we are starting to see the beginning of the transition of local powerhouse brands like Central Dairies (Newfoundland) and Farmers (Nova Scotia) to the master Natrel brand.
This packaging found on- shelf at Sobeys shows the new packaging reminiscent of Unilever’s transition of Sidekicks from Lipton to Knorr.
The new packs also have the new Dairy Farmers of Canada logo which has been refreshed for the first time in a generation to be more contemporary and appeal to a younger demographic.
It looks like the dairy aisle will be a hotbed of activity for the next couple of years while these transitions play themselves out.