2 May 1997

ere we go with milk…

IN A bid to compete with the soft drinks giants, Dairy Crest has joined forces with leading football clubs in a marketing initiative designed to boost milk sales.

Semi-skimmed milk, packed in the club colours of eight leading soccer teams, will hit supermarket shelves and doorstep delivery floats in the coming weeks.

It is the first major effort by an English dairy firm to give milk a brand image. And Dairy Crest has already put £250,000 behind the venture which it believes will boost sales considerably.

The milk, with added vitamins A and D, will retail at 53p/litre and a contribution from each carton sold will be made by Dairy Crest to the relevant club. The current supermarket price for traditionally packed milk is between 49p and 51p a litre.

Dairy Crest marketing director Kevin Mills believes the football initiative will make milk more relevant to youngsters. "Milk really is a brilliant product and it was time to get that message across to people," he says.

Football, with its healthy image and mass appeal, was a natural choice to use in promotions. And Mr Mills says that market research, before the products launch, had shown that 35% said they would buy the new football milk in addition to the volumes of milk they normally bought.

At the London launch of the new milk last week, Arsenal player Lee Dixon and Spurs captain Gary Mabbutt both said they had benefited from free school milk.

And former England star, Ray Wilkins, said milk had played an important part in his upbringing. Coming from a family of six children, where money had been very tight, he said milk provided a cheap but invaluable source of nutrition.