Arla Steve Millard

Arla has created the new role of head of e-commerce & digital in a bid to realise its ambitions to increase online sales in the UK to 20% by 2025.

The dairy co-op has appointed former Jacobs Douwe Egberts online customer development director Steve Millard to the new position, which was created “as more shoppers than ever turn to digital retailers to purchase their household groceries”, Arla said.

Millard will lead the digital offer of Arla’s sales and marketing teams, engaging with major online retail outlets to increase the presence of its dairy products, targeting online-only retailers, as well as traditional high-street outlets and supermarkets.

The self-styled ‘digital evangelist’ has also worked as an online business unit manager for Burton’s Biscuits, and in roles at Dunhumby and He would also play a key role in meeting Arla’s target to spend 25% of its marketing across a range of online retail and social channels by the end of the decade, the dairy co-op added.

“The creation of a new digital and e-commerce team shows that Arla has a firm grasp of the challenges facing the dairy retail sector and I am excited to take on the role,” Millard said.

“Online frequency of purchase and shorter shelf life of dairy products have historically influenced a slower uptake in dairy’s shift to e-commerce compared with other food and drink products,” he added.

“As consumers turn to an increasingly sophisticated online marketplace, it is important that companies continue to prepare for an ever-changing - and often unpredictable - new way of doing business. I’ll be doing this for Arla by increasing the visibility of its products online, integrating and driving digital understanding and ways of working within the organisation.”