Irish dairy company Ornua has announced the launch of Kerrygold butter in South Korea.
The new product, which will be sold through major Korean retailers, was unveiled by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD at a Hyundai department store in Seoul, during an Irish trade mission to South Korea and Japan.
The launch is the latest move by the dairy company to break into the Asian market, which it says is key for Irish dairy. In recent years, the company introduced products in China, Singapore and Malaysia.
Due to the region’s lower milk consumption, it offers significant potential for further Irish dairy exports, the company said. It added that the consumption of dairy products is rising fast in South Korea.
“I am delighted to see the continuing expansion of Irish dairy produce into the Asian market. The launch of Kerrygold in South Korea establishes another important route to market for Irish dairy,” said Minister Creed. “I have confidence that in the near future, South Korea will become an important market for Kerrygold butter and cheese. As we prepare for a post Brexit environment, it is critical that we build these new markets for premium Irish dairy products.”
South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world, with a GDP of €1.2 trillion and a growth rate of 3.3%. Out of the population of 51 million people, 82% live in cities. The country currently imports 150,000 tonnes of cheese and butter, and its agriculture accounts for a mere 2.2% of GDP.
Ornua said its ambition is to grow Kerrygold into a €1 billion global dairy brand in the coming years. In 2016, the company launched Kerrygold Yogurts in Germany, Kerrygold Spreadable in the UK and continued to roll out Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur across Europe and the US.
“Today marks Ornua’s entry into the South Korean market and is an important milestone in the continuation of our expansion into the key Asian market,” said John Jordan, CEO Ornua EMEA and Asia. “Opening new routes to market, such as South Korea, is a central pillar of Ornua’s strategy to develop Kerrygold from a butter brand into a €1 billion global dairy brand. Today’s announcement is also a key step in further diversifying our customer base, a particularly important consideration for Irish dairy farming in the current political environment.”
Last week, the company opened a new 5,000 square foot innovation centre in Chicago, Illinois through its US subsidiary CoreFX Ingredients. It is also currently undertaking a 10,000 square foot expansion at its manufacturing plant in Orangeville, Illinois.
Ornua’s 2016 turnover was boosted in large part by record global sales of Kerrygold butter, reaching €900 million in 2016, with a 20% volume growth in the US.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.