Fonterra concentrates on Asian calcium market

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Fonterra

New Zealand dairy and dairy ingredients giant, Fonterra, has launched its high-calcium dairy drink, Anlene Concentrate in Malaysia, after an encouraging year on the market in Thailand.

Anlene Concentrate is a UHT, one-shot, high-dose, calcium dairy drink. It is an extension of Fonterra’s Anlene brand which has proved successful in global markets since it was launched in the 1990s.

Low-fat Concentrate contains four times the calcium of regular milk and is clinically-backed to provide bone health benefits, especially in menopausal women, pregnant women and infants.

It is planned Concentrate will be launched into many south eastern Asian markets after the success in Thailand, as dairy consumption is low in most Asian countries. Calcium consumption is typically less than half recommended daily intakes of 800-1000mg.

Calcium roars

Fonterra is investing in substantial marketing campaigns for the product that sells at four times the price of regular Anlene as well as regular milk, according to New Nutrition Business​ magazine.

In Malaysia, the locally-born actress Michelle Yeoh, star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ​and My Life as a Geisha ​has been recruited to be the ‘face’ of the brand.

A Thai star – Masha Vadhanapanich – is the face of the product in Thailand. The Thai high-calcium market is estimated at more than €100m.

Anlene Concentrate Promotional activities include dancing and walking events as well as sampling and health professional visits to retail centres and health clinics.

Anlene is a €200m brand globally and world leader in clinically-backed bone health products.

Fonterra’s managing director for Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Mark Wilson, told The Dominion Post​ Concentrate would be launched in five other Asian markets within 18 months.

Wislon said Concentrate represented an example of an innovative product driving market share. "We get a well-known Thai star to advertise the product and we've gone from being a rather soggy number two in the market to being the clear number one as a result of that."

The region

Fonterra is reaping the benefits of investment in the Asian region – it has a strong presence in China and growing presence in many other markets – as well as science to back Anlene’s health claims.

The company has spent more than €25m on studies backing the brand in the past 10 years.

Fonterra’s Asian, Middle Eastern and African operations generated sales of $1.5bn in 2007-08, with​Asia-Middle East revenues jumping 13 per cent and China 31 per cent.

The rapidly developing dairy market in China saw Fonterra purchase its first dairy farm in China in 2007 to cope with demand, in conjunction with its Chinese dairy partner, SanLu, which took a 15 per cent share in the 3000-cow farm.

Fonterra said it was satisfied with its performance in the region given commodity price increases that have seen it raise its own prices by as much as 30 per cent in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and 10 per cent or more in most other Asian markets.

The Indian market was one where it had no presence and was taking a wait and see approach while it consolidated other markets, Wilson said.

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