Following several years of stagnation in the German market, staff at the Arla Foods’ subsidiary in Düsseldorf are now finding it hard to rein in their optimism! Between October 1, 2000 and February 4, Arla Foods sold more than 20,000 tons cheese and butter in Germany, i.e. 10 per cent more than the same period last year.
The advance is due to the fear of BSE, according to Business Development Manager Jesper Erichsen. Many Germans have stopped eating beef and sausages and have turned instead to cheese.
“But this is only part of the reason. Since last summer, we have been following a new marketing and customer care strategy and this is now paying off,” says Düsseldorf-based Jesper Erichsen. “So although growth is likely to flatten out when the BSE scare dies down, we believe we can maintain our current, good position.”
The launch of Höhlenkäse Mild und Würzig, recently awarded the Product of the Year 2000 prize for its category by the readers of Milch Marketing, has also played a role. The new variety has been well received by German consumers and has not encroached upon sales of Höhlenkäse Traditionell. Last week total sales of Höhlenkäse in Germany were 66 per cent higher compared to the same week the previous year.
Höhlenkäse is produced at Vellev Dairy, which has just been HACCP approved and will receive its certificate in a few days.