MANILA, Philippines—Fonterra, a globally successful New Zealand cooperative owned by dairy farmers, is bullish on the Philippines as increasingly affluent and health-conscious Filipinos seek higher quality milk products.
Powdered and liquid milk products are both enjoying growing demand, says Mark Wilson, Fonterra’s managing director for ASEAN/MENA, in an interview.
The Philippines is in fact among the top markets for milk in Asean, along with Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, he says.
“People start out with what they can afford, then as income and education or awareness improves, (they) move on to discretionary purchases for better nutrition. As the economy develops, people trade up the food pyramid,” Wilson adds.
Prevention is better than a cure, or so goes Fonterra’s take on osteoporosis risk management. As such, the company is trying to spread awareness through bone-scanning activities and through adverts that highlight the benefit of drinking milk as a natural option to address a medical condition.
Bone-scan results are quite consistent across Asia, Wilson says, in that while more senior women are at risk of osteoporosis, the number of males at risk is not very far behind.
“Anlene is interesting because not only is it a fast-moving consumer product but it also has a quasi-medical dimension. Anlene is the only milk in the world clinically proven to prevent bone loss. It also contributes to market development since a growing labor market needs to be sustained with nutrition,” Wilson says.
Advertisements for Anlene are also set to feature males more than the usual in order to communicate the message that men need to take care of their bones as much as females do.
Anlene comes in different product forms such as powdered milk, liquid milk, and liquid concentrate. There are various flavors as well, including vanilla and chocolate, for people who are not used to drinking milk.
All variants, Wilson says, are high in calcium to strengthen bones and contain Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium for calcium absorption.
While more awareness campaign targets the males, Fonterra will continue to keep communicating with the female population. Not only can they take care of their bone health, they can also educate the male members of their households or at least introduce products that they have tried and tested.
“Husbands quite often simply take what their wives buy,” Wilson notes.
Fonterra is said to be the world’s No. 1 supplier to the global dairy market. It contributes about 40 percent of the world’s tradeable dairy, where milk-producing countries also consume most of the volume they produce, Wilson says.
About 140 years old, Fonterra is owned by some 10,500 dairy farmers-shareholders, according to the company website. It is said to be the largest company in New Zealand, operating in 120 countries around the world. Among other brands Fonterra carries are Anmum and Anchor.