How is Yazoo working with wholesalers to maximise soft-drinks sales?

Martyn Fisher talks to Gavin Blair, managing director UK of FrieslandCampina, finding out how Yazoo is working with wholesalers to maximise soft-drinks sales

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

Yazoo is the number-one flavoured-milk brand in the UK and is known, loved and championed by retailers.

We know newness excites consumers, and that is why we launched Limited Edition Choc Mint, which was supported by online and in-depot marketing communications.

What is the greatest challenge that the wholesale industry faces?

The last 18 months has seen significant changes in the industry and it is hard to predict what will happen next.

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

Technology within wholesale is becoming much more popular, and there is a clear growth of digital input across the industry.

Customers are now using apps to order stock, rather than coming straight to the depot, and it is important that brands recognise this. Milk drinks are exempt from the sugar levy due to the nutritional benefits inherent in milk. With flavoured milk being an on-the-go drink, wholesalers should capitalise on opportunities for retailers to generate profit to offset the levy on soft drinks.

What challenges has Yazoo had to overcome in the past year?

Yazoo has been growing 10.5% year on year, but expanding distribution of an established brand can be a challenge.

Coupled with new entrants entering the soft drinks category, we must keep challenging ourselves to be better every day.

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

Yazoo is a £56.4m brand and is currently outperforming the flavoured-milk market (+10.5%). We are proud to be the nation’s top flavoured-milk brand and particularly in out-of-home, where we have been number one for over a decade.

Earlier this year, we launched Limited Edition Choc Mint. In four months, it has become a £1m brand and one of five bestselling milk drink products in convenience. Being listed predominantly in out-of-home, it has proved that wholesale is an important channel for Yazoo.

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

With digital becoming increasingly vital, we would love to work with wholesalers to implement digital initiatives that work for this sector as well as for wholesalers’ customers.

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

We are already talking with our customers about our 2019 brand plans. This has been a great year for us and we have strong growth ambitions.

With wholesale a significantly important channel for us, we will continue to invest in this channel with marketing communications support and category management advice.

What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow soft-drinks sales?

With convenience being on-the-go led, soft drinks are a key way to grow sales. Wholesalers should ensure they are stocking the bestselling items, in both pricemarked packs and optimal case sizes.

Flavoured milk is a huge category worth £85.4m in out-of-home, and it is still growing. However, retailers do not often view flavoured milk as a way to grow their soft-drinks sales.

Flavoured milk’s exemption from the sugar tax, however, creates a great opportunity for wholesalers to drive growth in the soft drinks category.

Fast fact

It took just
four months
for Yazoo Limited Edition Choc Mint
to become a £1m brand


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