Martyn Fisher talks to Roz Davies, head of category development at Danone Early Life Nutrition, about the baby food products wholesalers should be stocking

How has Danone helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?

We have worked to help grow wholesalers’ baby food sales. A big part of this has been ensuring they are prepared for mission-driven customers.

What is the greatest challenge wholesale faces?

Public Health England has responded to nearly a third of children aged two to 15 being overweight or obese with a renewed plan of action. It has called upon the industry to play its part in improving food and drink choices. Wholesalers must demonstrate the responsible choices they make while handling food for children. 

What trends and opportunities are emerging that customers can take advantage of?

Parents are seeking more time with their little ones. Feeding is a central element of this, as parents are looking for convenient formats that will help cut time spent on preparation and cleaning up. Wholesalers are well positioned to capitalise on this by stocking the ready-to-use liquid formula milks, food for tonight and on-the-go products.

What challenges has Danone had to overcome this year?

We continue to challenge ourselves to support the wholesale industry with the right products and advice to help them grow. We have put our energy into listening to the needs of wholesalers and responding to concerns with action. Updating our packaging to increase standout and continuing to challenge the ease-of-use of our range.

What is Danone’s greatest achievement in the past year?

We extended some of our most successful ranges of formula milks and foods as part of an innovation programme to complement our Aptamil and Cow & Gate ranges. Danone’s ready-to-use milks have grown by 8.4% in the past year in convenience, which is why
we recommend stocking convenient formats in wholesale
to support your customers.

What would you like to see happen in wholesale in the next 12 months?

Wholesalers can do more to support shoppers in making the category easier to navigate. For example, consider offering a range of the most popular products, beacon categories and brands within the category. Besides formula milk and foods, this includes nappies, wipes, medicines and toiletries.

To support your customers further, consider offering advice on this opportunity in depot or through appropriate marketing. Retailers must think about the location of their store and what mission their shoppers are typically on as well as what their local competitors offer and how to be different.

80.8%: Percentage of the category market share Aptamil and Cow & Gate hold

Are you planning any activity which wholesalers should be aware of?

2018 is a big year for us and the category. We have invested in developing new products in both formula milks and foods that we will introduce to the market soon. Watch this space.

What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in this category?

Parents are brand-loyal when it comes to feeding their babies: 87% of mums will only buy one brand of formula milk and 62% of mums will take their shop elsewhere if their preferred brand is unavailable.

With Aptamil and Cow & Gate holding 80.8% of the category market share, it makes sense for wholesalers to stock and promote both brands to encourage retailers to sell a range of formula milks and foods that can support parents on their feeding journey. 

Fast Fact

Aptamil with Pronutra+ 200mlis worth £665k in wholesale 


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