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Stackyard News Aug 07

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New Research Reveals Opportunities for Dairy with Provenance

A new report from the MDC looking into the market opportunities for dairy products with ‘provenance’ has pinpointed a number of key product areas ripe for development across the dairy category.

friesian cow

Researched by agrifood consultants Bidwells and published today (20 August), Dairy Products with Provenance particularly identifies gaps for soft cheeses with provenance, as well as spreadable butters and even children’s snack cheeses.

MDC marketing manager Amanda Ball explains that while the ‘face and place’ behind dairy products is an increasingly popular way of enhancing their appeal to consumers, the report shows that huge opportunities remain untapped.

“Not only does our research indicate that one in every two consumers would choose dairy products with provenance over those without, but also that around 70% would be quite or very likely to select milk and cheese with provenance over alternatives,” she says.

“This is great news because provenance is all about the primary producer’s story – what his or her farm is like and the special way the product is made. So as well as offering superb market opportunities, provenance gives individuals or groups of farmers a great chance to retain a stake in the product – even if it ends up manufactured by a big processor and sold in a supermarket.”

Mrs Ball explains that provenance appears to have much wider opportunities than local food alone – the local or regional message is just one way of demonstrating provenance.

“For producers looking to sell beyond their immediate locality to generate a more national or even international appeal, the bigger story behind the product has to be the focus.”

She adds that the research – which used focus groups and quantitative research backed by data based on 1.2 million shoppers from Dunnhumby Academy of Consumer Research – also confirmed that provenance scores highly after other important consumer expectations such a price, quality and taste. It also highlights the increasing importance consumers are placing on welfare, low pesticide use and whether the product supports the local community.

“The next steps are to follow up on specific opportunities that retailers, food manufacturers and food service operators highlighted during the research,” she finishes.

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