Make milk your mission


Milk continues to be one of the biggest sales drivers in the entire sector, but like all others, there’s an easy way to approach it, and a hard way – guess which leads to bigger profits?

by Émer O’Toole

Milk is a key sales driver in the convenience sector with one in eight shoppers saying milk is the main reason they visit their local convenience store. Cross-category merchandising and high visibility will be key to selling this everyday essential well.

Milk is the number one top-up mission product in convenience, so effective management of the category is crucial. Shoppers who add milk to their shopping basket will spend up to 30% more than an average shopper who doesn’t so if you market the fixture well, high sales will follow. Increasingly, offers and deals should be targeted to the four out of five shoppers not currently buying their milk from the convenience sector. The potential for growth here is huge, and offers should be scattered around the shop, not just at point of sale, to maximise awareness.

Sandy Wilkie, Business & Relationship Development Director at Müller, says: “Consumers increasingly demand traceability within fresh produce and by offering milk with a clear link to the area where it is produced, without adding cost to the retailer, we can add value to our milk which can be passed on to consumers in the form of confidence, peace of mind and pride in quality regional milk and products.”

Top milk selling tips
  1. Ensure that the refrigeration of the milk is below 5 degrees. Müller works hard to ensure the “chill chain” is not broken from the moment the milk is collected from farm to the point of delivery. It is vitally important that this is continued in-store for the qualitry of the product to be maintained.
  2. Maintenance of the milk fixture is crucial. The company’s teams encourage retailers to review the chiller every hour to ensure it is tidy and that stocks have been rotated to minimise waste.
  3. One statistic to consider is that most milk is sold after 3pm so it is important that this is taken into consideration when reviewing ordering.
  4. Allow milk to be visible from the door: making it visible from the door of the store and ensuring the most popular variants (i.e. 2 litre semi-skimmed) are at eye level will help boost sales.

Don’t underestimate the flavoured milk category which is now worth over £299m. Chocolate milk remains the category’s favourite flavour with a 32% share, followed by fruit (24%) and coffee flavoured milks (15%). Continued innovation and NPD within the milk drinks category has seen more flavoured and specialised milks enter the category, including Mars and Snickers High Protein milk drinks. Milk drinks with health benefits are also growing in demand. Dairy drinks like Nurishment are ideal for consumers who don’t have time to stop, and are an unmissable profit opportunity for retailers.

It is essential that retailers review and analyse their customer range to ensure they are offering the best range of products and size variants to meet customer demand. It is also important that the milk fixture is visible in store and places key products at eye level to ensure the best sales. Müller advises its customers to maximise sales by ensuring that their milk chiller remains well-stocked, clean and that stock is rotated.

Confectionery brand bestsellers — Mars, Galaxy and Skittles — milk drinks are a profit opportunity for retailers since bulk stocks can be stored outside of the chiller, allowing for easy storage and an extended shelf life.