Dairy Crest redesigns milk carton to save costs

Dairy Crest is rolling out a new milk bottle design in a bid to save £20m in the face of rising production costs.

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The major milk brand is rolling out the tweaked bottle, which it says uses 15 per cent less plastic and is more stable and user-friendly, following a recent consumer trial.

The brand says it developed the bottle in partnership with a “major retailer”, which it declined to name. Dairy Crest previously developed a plastic bag milk container that is sold across all Sainsbury’s stores and some Tesco stores with a specially designed reusable jug, which it called “Jugit”.

The company says the new design’s crucial features are rounded corners and a repositioned handle. The reduced corners mean less plastic and lighter bottles, while the handle move higher up the bottle makes it easier to handle, says Dairy Crest.

The move to cut costs follows retailers alleged refusal to increase milk prices despite the rising costs of production. Tesco was recently fined £10m by the Office of Fair Trading in for colluding with fellow retailers and suppliers including Dairy Crest in 2002 to fix prices of milk and cheese – a charge the supermarket denies.

Over 1.2m Dairy Crest home delivery customers will start receiving the bottle over coming months, alongside a rollout to the brand’s retail customers.

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