Stars made of milk

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DMK is betting on new products, exciting interest among consumers and winning them over

Eight out of ten consumers in Germany know MILRAM

It’s powerful, uncomplicated, can be ice cold – and is wildly popular: Kalder Kaffee. It’s a purist mixture of strong coffee and milk, and some people at DMK were not initially too sure it would be popular, given its ingredients are so simple, without any added sugar and flavorings.

But it’s a hit.

Now, MILRAM’s iced coffee is a shooting star in its range – and there is more to come. Thanks to its initial success, MILRAM has created a twin that packs an even bigger punch. Kalder Kaffee “unbelievably strong” will hit stores’ shelves in April. It contains 50 mg of caffeine per 100 ml and seems to stand for everything that customers are calling for: a fast product they can grab as they go. With inventions like Kalder Kaffee, milk is finding its way into a market with great potential beyond iced coffee. What counts is to dare to make a move in these swiftly changing times. These days, custom - ers make their purchasing decisions ever more quickly, a fact obvious from the iced coffee category, which is growing faster than the market, though with only 12 items in the range is hardly overrepresented.
Many other products DMK has developed and launched as part of Strategy 2030 prove that too, including new kinds of spring quark, Ahoj-brause sherbet ice cream, new kinds of Baileys ice cream, and MILRAM buttermilk ice cream cones. And that’s alongside all manner of innovation in packaging design and marketing strategy. 

Waking up with a familiar face

How does a dairy cooperative transform farmers’ valuable milk into products that keep up with the changing times? All of the experimenting, research and discovery centers on what customers are saying. When buying iced coffee, the word is that energy is the determining factor, which is why buyers are reaching for the products with the most caffeine.
However, 20 % of customers say they want a milder taste and more variety, so for them, a mild, nutty tasting coffee will hit the shelves in April: Kalder Kaffee “with oats” – containing 27 mg of caffeine per 100 ml. Here, those in the target group are impulse buyers aware of the latest trends and with plenty of purchasing power. They want a product they can trust to consume while they are on the go, without too many ingredients. The best proof that this mission succeeded came in the form of a brand new group of buyers: almost two-thirds of new consumers buying Kalder Kaffee although they hadn’t bought any other iced coffee product in 2019. They were driven not just by the desire for a coffee but mainly because they know and trust the MILRAM brand. Eight out of ten consumers in Germany know MIL - RAM, a fact that led many to reach for the drink even if only to try it. That made one thing clear: consumers trust the brand, want to learn more and are eager to try out something new.

“Mmmmm, delicious! The foam on the cappuccino is made from a dairy-free milk that’s used in vegan drinks to make a thick, creamy foam, say for hot chocolate, Viennese mélange or cappuccino.” Elisabeth Robers, 59, secretariat, DP Supply in Beesten

Simply unforgettable

People’s curiosity extends to all of MILRAM’s products – including ice cream: Sales of 850-ml tubs of buttermilk ice cream jumped by 200 % in 2019. And sales of SKYR ice cream on a stick rose by 23 % despite major competition from private label goods. The fact that we are heading into spring equipped with strawberry and lemon flavor varieties of buttermilk ice cream, now also in cones, is thanks to market research. Polls found that this met the sweet spot for customers who want variety and also to eat healthily, and who pick products that are high in protein but low in fat and sugar. Synergies with the traditional Bahlsen cookie brand also bore fruit with Bahlsen ice cream available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors, also a winning combination, whose success was obvious just weeks after its launch.

Social media campaigns highlighted the fact that people have faith in brand names in a rapidly changing world. Biscuit maker Bahlsen reaches 788,000 Instagram users through the hashtag #simplyunforgettable. Fans share fond childhood memories and trade recipes for waffles and Bahlsen ice cream, and recall their grandmothers who always had cookies on hand.

DMK is betting on new products

exciting interest among consumers and winning them over

MILRAM buttermilk ice cream cones

MILRAM lemon and strawberry buttermilk ice cream cones, available in packs of six

Kalder Kaffee

Kalder Kaffee “unbelievably strong” with 50 mg of caffeine per 100 ml, and Kalder Kaffee “with oats:” Both with no added sugar or artificial flavorings

Baileys Strawberries & Cream ice cream

Baileys Strawberries & Cream ice cream with strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips, Baileys Mini Selection

Ahoj-Brause ice cream

Ahoj-Brause ice cream – woodruff-raspberry with lemon sauce and Ahoj-brause sherbet balls

MILRAM Spring quark

MILRAM Spring quark – all varieties with a fresh new design starting in May

MILRAM cottage cheese, skyr and quark

MILRAM cottage cheese, skyr and quark all contain lots of protein and will help people who want a healthy diet

MILRAM Skyr cheese

MILRAM Skyr cheese is 30% protein per 100 grams, making it the champion among protein-rich skyr products

Osterland red fruit pudding and vanilla dessert sauce

Osterland red fruit pudding with raspberry flavoring in a 1-kilo package, and vanilla dessert sauce in a 500-ml package

The next generation

DMK believes that young people will be loyal to traditional brands and has opted to create a special combination, with Ahoj-Brause ice cream on sale since March. The combination of woodruff and raspberry ice cream, topped with lemon sauce and dotted through with Ahoj-Brause pearls of sherbet is sweet, sour, sparkling and fun.
 A collaboration between Katjes.Fassin is planned, to further excite DMK’s young target group. Baileys ice cream, which won retail awards, seems almost like a famous opera diva in comparison. That success and confirmation provided by retailers gave DMK’s ice cream developers a real boost.
In 2020, packaging designers will provide a splash of color that will mean shoppers will be unable to ignore two new products in the ice cream section: Baileys Mini Selection – mini ice creams in different flavors on sticks - and Baileys Strawberries&Cream in 500 ml tubs. 

“How could you say no?“ Jenny Hensel, 32, production employee in Altentreptow

Looking good

How a product looks matters more than ever before, so market leader MILRAM has opted to refresh the design of its spring and spicy range of quark products. New, striking color combinations help shoppers differentiate between the different varieties at a glance, and encourage them to reach for the products. Now, there’s also a more appealing picture of the quark on the packaging. Factors that help customers decide on a particular variety, such as high protein content – in Spring Quark ACTIVE - or low fat content - in Spring Quark light – are now highlighted visually to help shoppers find what they are looking for. Shoppers liked being able to see the different varieties at a glance, market research has found. Customers said they found the design more striking and appetizing, increasing their willingness to buy the products to 87 %, according to research.

The milk of our farmers

Our farmers’ milk is a boundless and precious commodity that inspires DMK’s developers, designers and strategists to ever new ideas and creations. Without milk, people’s fridges would feel much emptier and would contain far fewer fun and delicious goods than they do these days. DMK is aware of the challenges of these times, with the focus ever more on customers’ desires for a variety of healthy, sustainable and convenient products. This is the only way the cooperative can keep up with global competition and show its colors. Its new strategy means it is well on the way to achieving this goal.

“Usually I eat MILRAM quark when I’m having a barbecue – I add lemon and herbs. But it tastes really good just as it is on a piece of crusty bread!“ Brian Tiedt, 16, dairy technologist in his first year of training, Altentreptow

The bigger, the better

Our milk is found in a whole range of foods and it is almost impossible to imagine supermarkets and discounters without it. Brands like Osterland emphasize this fact as bigger packages of the classic and widely loved red fruit pudding and vanilla-flavored dessert sauce hit the shelves. That’s because among the many trends, including for products that can be consumed quickly, there is also a desire for larger family-sized packs. Big packs make up two-thirds of sales of red fruit pudding.

Osterland’s compote-like dessert is the best-selling red fruit pudding in the German retail sector, and a close second in the national dessert market. And that’s despite the fact that this classic is only available in the eastern part of Germany. People buy an average of three dessert packs per purchase, which is a good reason to provide a bigger package for those who want it.

“I love red fruit pudding when it tastes like my grandma used to make it. Osterland’s product comes pretty close! The fruity taste of the berries fits really well with the creamy vanilla sauce – I’m sure that’s what Grandma Hannelore would say too.“ Mathilda Rautenberg, 19, dairy laboratory assistant, third year of training, Waren

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