Friday, March 16, 2012

Winning Hearts And Minds

A bourgeoning Auckland-based supermarket chain wants to bottle and sell its own milk.
Anyone out there wanna partner-up on this initiative?
Nosh Food Market's director Clinton Beuvink says the boutique supermarket chain started thinking about bottling milk itself, after reducing the price of its "Cow and Gate" milk to $2 for 2L in its six stores in February: "We've done the sums and we believe an independent bottler would easily recoup the cost of setting up a factory in Auckland to supply us and our family of retail friends. Sustainably, milk can be a lot cheaper for consumers." Beuvink reckons in our dairy-strong country, excessive margins on milk are "anti-Kiwi" and a $2 million pasteurisation plant in Auckland would have low distribution costs. Nosh would take care of demand - all it needs is someone to put up his hand and say 'I'm in'.
Clinton: determined to
cream the milk prices!
Nosh is expanding its stores in a tight geographical grid which makes its distribution costs very low. It has four stores in Auckland plus one each in Hamilton and Matakana, and plans to open more this year. So for any new partner, there's a guaranteed market right from the start.
Beuvink says supermarkets make about 30% profit on milk, and Nosh will continue to make a loss after extending its discounted price throughout March...but it's more about the principle.
The two big supermarket chains (Foodstuffs which owns the Pak'n'Save supermarkets, and Progressive Enterprises which owns Countdown) said last month they would not follow Nosh into a milk-price war...but if Nosh gets a business partner and starts making serious in-roads on the milk market, that position may have to be revisited.
Meantime, big bouquets to Nosh for its customer-oriented decision!

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