Product:Calon Wen Organic Milk Co-operative
People behind it:
Name:Roger Kerr and Iwan Jones
Calon Wen means “White Heart” or “Pure Heart” in Welsh, and is the name of the first milk to be successfully launched in a plastic bag in the UK, and the organic dairy co-operative that produces it. Managing director Roger Kerr and marketing director Iwan Jones (above left), both dairy farmers, took a Canadian packaging system, added an organic twist and the brand was born. Calon Wen’s organic milk has now been in supermarkets since June 2007.
The technology behind Calon Wen’s milk bags has been used in North America for the past 20 years, but Canadian manufacturer Glo Pak started taking it round UK dairies a couple of years ago. Consumers buy a reusable plastic jug; the milk bags fit inside, the consumer pulls a tab and clicks the lid in place and the milk is ready to pour. The environmentally friendly system uses 75% less plastic than conventional plastic bottles.
Calon Wen’s milk in a bag was first tested by Waitrose, which launched it in 21 branches. It has now on more general distribution, and is also stocked by some branches of Tesco and Morrisons. On launch, the jug sold for £1.99, with skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole Calon Wen organic milk selling for 91p a litre. The jug is now the same price, but the milk is currently 99p a litre, about the same as rival organic brands.
How it fits
Milk in a bag is not new to the UK: there were at least two previous attempts to launch it, one six years ago and one back in the Seventies. But Roger Kerr and Iwan Jones recognised that market conditions had changed, and that interest in organics and in reducing packaging waste meant UK consumers were now ready to consider buying their milk in something other than plastic bottles or cardboard cartons.