Dairy cow cattle

Publication date: 4 September

Submissions deadline: 12 to 26 July (see below)


The features

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State of the nation: sustainability (kevin.white@wrbm.com) | Submissions: Strict 12 July 2021 deadline

Sustainability across numerous areas is key to the future for the UK dairy. In fact, climate change is the biggest issue facing the industry. What is it doing to mitigate the impact on the planet – including but not limited to cutting carbon emissions to net zero? But it’s not the only sustainability issue in the industry’s headlights. How are such factors as government farming policy affecting suppliers? What other areas of sustainability are raising challenges – and what are the technological and scientific solutions?

Africa: the new dairy frontier? (harry.holmes@wrbm.com) | Submissions: Strict 12 July 2021 deadline

Brexit has created a nightmare for dairy suppliers selling to the EU. No wonder they’re looking to new markets – and Africa is one of them. What are the challenges and opportunities of exporting to the continent, particularly with regards to sustainability? Which countries are suppliers focusing on, and why? How can UK suppliers avoid accusations of exploitation and white saviour complex? Plus, in brief – what has been the impact of Brexit on UK cheese exports?

Plant-based revolution: (george.nott@wrbm.com) | Submissions: 17 July 2021 deadline

Can UK suppliers keep up with the ever-growing demand for dairy alternatives? What trends are driving sales? Which plant-based suppliers are attracting big investment? Why? What moves are traditional dairy suppliers making into plant-based – and why? What advancements are being made in taste and texture of alternatives to make them like the real thing?

Movers & shakers: sustainability (henry.sandercock@wrbm.com) | Submissions deadline: Extended to 6 August

Who are the people making the most important and/or innovative sustainability moves in dairy? Where do they work, and what are they doing? We meet workers from small and large business across the industry. We will be putting out an online poll to ask for people to nominate themselves or colleague – a la 2020’s dairy heroes.

For more inforamtion on how to enter, click here…

Creative Challenge (wordsbymegantatum@gmail.com)

We challenge a creative marketing agency to produce a recruitment campaign to increase diversity across dairy’s workforce.

Consumers’ attitude to dairy (daniel.selwood@wrbm.com)

From climate change and plastic packaging to animal welfare and health, our exclusive poll with Harris Interactive reveals how sustainability issues inform Brits’ dairy shopping habits.

How to avoid greenwashing (daniel.selwood@wrbm.com)

Q&A on how to be sincerely eco-conscious in the modern dairy industry.

The category reports

Focus On: Milk by Kevin White (kevin.white@thegrocer.co.uk)

What’s next for the milk category after a sensational year of sales? How is the future likely to play out as the UK returns to something like normality? Is the category about to get higher tech? Or go old school?

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Focus On: Butter & spreads by Nick Hughes (nick@nickhugheswriting.com)

Are of sales butters and spreads in danger of melting away? In the past year, the category has added value and volume in grocery during the pandemic. With a captive audience, suppliers have seemingly taken their foot off the gas: innovation and marketing activity have been rare sights. Is that set to change as the UK returns to something like normality, and suppliers seek to maintain their good fortunes? Or are they resigned to a slump in sales?

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Focus On: British Cheese by Patrick McGuigan (pat_mcguigan@yahoo.co.uk)

It’s been an incredible year for British Cheese. It’s added £134.1m in grocery – and every variety has benefited. By absolute total value, Cheddar is still at the top of the pile. But the fastest growers include blue cheese, including stilton. That’s in spite of being markedly pricier on average than any cheddar or territorial. Only vintage cheddar comes close – and it’s grown its value by 14.2%. What driven this growth in premium cheese? And can it be maintained as the recession tightens?

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Focus On: Continental cheese by Nick Hughes (nick@nickhugheswriting.com)

Exploring questions such as: Who are the UK dairies producing continental-style cheese? How much are they motivated by/capitalising on Brexit-related importing difficulties? And how are suppliers getting around protected status of varieties such as buffalo mozzarella and halloumi?

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Focus On: Ice Cream by Niamh Leonard-Bedwell (N.Leonard-Bedwell@thegrocer.co.uk)

Ice cream’s evolving. It’s no longer just a category relying on plain cows’ milk as its main ingredient. There’s now a growing market of alternatives. Last year, Wall’s Ice Cream unveiled Greek yoghurt ice cream lollies, for instance. Jude’s this year added kefir lines. And plant-based brands like Cecily’s are boasting about booming sales. So, what’s driving this evolution – and to what degree will ‘alt-ice cream’ help growing the market to the near-£1.5bn predicted by Mintel?

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Focus On: Dairy Drinks by Vince Bamford (vjbamford@googlemail.com)

Dairy drinks can’t catch a break. Last year, the sector risked being dragged into the sugar tax’s remit. That didn’t happen – but the category still faces scrutiny over its health credentials. That’s as the government prepares to launch its clampdown on products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). So, what are suppliers doing to ensure they won’t be affected by laws preventing them from advertising on TV before 9pm and running in-store promotions?

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Focus On: Yoghurt & Potted Dessert by Henry Sandercock (henry.sandercock@thegrocer.co.uk)

Sustainability is a key focus for the dairy industry and wider grocery market. So, what are players in the yoghurt category doing to tackle the likes of climate change and plastic waste? The Collective this month announced plans to launch what it claims will be the UK’s first carbon neutral dairy yoghurt. It came after Arla announced in May a direct purchasing initiative for renewable energy produced by its farmer owners. Why have the businesses done such things? What are other suppliers’ sustainability ambitions? What initiatives have they introduced – and how much investment is involved? Do the measures go far enough? How much are they driving sales and influencing innovation?

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