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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/06/2014 -- Cheese saw very positive development in 2013. The major Dutch cheese brands have been very active and this helped the category to register positive growth. Another positive influence was the fact that foreign cheeses performed relatively well. As these cheeses are relatively high priced this trend helped to drive growth of the cheese category as well.
The top player for cheese in 2013 was Netherlands? biggest grocery retail chain Albert Heijn. In fact, private label has a very strong position in cheese in the Netherlands with close to one third of the total value share on the GBO levl as of 2013. In 2013, private label saw a further increase in value share. Private label is seen as a value-for-money proposition by many and over the last few years has developed a wide range of products, including packaged hard cheeses in various formats and even foreign cheeses such as feta or white cheese and brie. Given the continued economic woes in 2013, private label managed to strengthen its mark further in cheese.
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For the forecast period, the growth in cheese is expected to be more modest than the average growth for the review period. The category is still expected to register growth however and a further growth of value sales is expected. Cheese remains a popular breakfast and lunch item although growth will be more modest over the forecast period due to maturity and lower average unit prices. The continued worries about the Dutch economy are also expected to have an impact on the growth potential of packaged cheese as consumers might be less willing to pay for convenience products compared to the review period.
Drinking milk products witnessed an increase in value sales in 2013. Drinking milk products is a very mature category and this is a major reason why it is seeing modest growth rates. In 2013, the increase in value was substantial as there were several growth segments within total drinking milk. Innovation both by the leading dairy companies and by niche players resulted in a healthy increase in value sales. While some segments in drinking milk suffer from maturity, there are other areas as well which remain vibrant.
Royal Fries land Campina remains the dominant force in drinking milk in 2013 with an overall share of just under 31% of total drinking milk. The share of the company is under pressure however, as during the past two years it has seen a slow but steady decline. The shift towards more basic products and the popularity of private label certainly has played a role in this. The company owns the strongest brand in drinking milk, Campina, as well as Friesche Vlag and Milk & Fruit. The Campina brand in particular, was under pressure as there was more intense competition from the likes of Arla. Royal FrieslandCampina tried to maintain its position through new product development, but could not prevent a further decline in share.
For the forecast period, a further decline is projected as the back to basic trend will intensify as consumers are still uncertain about the development of the economy. Towards the end of the forecast period it is likely that the decline in value sales will be lower, but the category is expected to register a decline throughout the whole forecast period. It is not all negative news about the prospects for drinking milk. There are some trends which will help to limit the decline over the next five years. One such trend is the individualisation of consumption. More and more consumers want to have their personal preference when it comes to drinking milk. This will lead to a higher share of smaller packaging formats. These smaller formats tend to have a higher average unit price and this may help to offset the effect of the shift towards more basic products.
Yoghurt and Sour Milk Drinks It was another difficult year for yoghurt and sour milk products as the category suffered a decline in value sales and an even more severe decline in volume. One main reason for the decline in value is that there was a shift towards more basic yoghurt products although this certainly was not the whole story. Yoghurt and sour milk products also suffered because of the more intense competition from alternative categories, such as dairy-based desserts and ice cream. These categories are seen as more indulgent and as individual indulgence was a major trend in 2013, yoghurt and sour milk products suffered a decline.
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