Müller plans own-label fightback

Müller Dairies UK is making determined attempts to take on private-label rivals as it struggles to stem declining market share.

Müller Dairies UK is making determined attempts to take on private-label rivals as it struggles to stem declining market share.

In 2003, the Müller brand had 30.2 per cent of the market by value, but by last August it had slipped to 25.5 per cent. According to AC Nielsen, the adult yoghurt market grew by 5.6 per cent in the year to January 22. The Müller Corner brand grew by four per cent over that period, but Müllerlight sales fell by 5.5 per cent.

Observers say Müller lost share to own-label yoghurts last year and is preparing to fight back by slashing prices on key brands. It is understood that promotions will include deals such as three Müllerlight, Müllerice or Müller Corners for 89p, down from £1.09.

An industry insider says Müller appears to have lost its strategic focus over the past year, but adds that the promotions will “shake-up the category”. He says the company is not planning any new product development for the first half of the year so it can focus on core ranges.

Müller UK marketing director Chris McDonough denies that the brand is focusing solely on price promotion and adds that its new advertising strategy is about re-establishing the brand.

Müller has committed a significant amount of its £11m advertising spend to television.

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