Major food and dairy producer Glanbia Consumer Foods has appointed Culina to manage the distribution of its chilled portfolio into the UK market. The first products to be introduced are a new range of WeightWatchers products for the large UK butter and spreads category.
"A bigger presence in the UK is important to us and we recognised that branded products represented the right way to go," says William Wake, UK Country Manager for Glanbia Consumer Foods. "To be successful we needed a supply chain partner that offered a full range of services and scalability to grow with us. Culina met all of our requirements."
Based in Ireland, where it is the largest milk supplier, Glanbia has grown in a number of key markets in Europe and North America to become one of the biggest international dairy and food producers. Historically the company’s consumer goods division has had a low profile in the UK but changes in market conditions led it to reassess its position and seek new opportunities. Feedback from retailers was encouraging when Glanbia Consumer Foods reached an agreement with WeightWatchers, which did not have a butter product in the UK, to supply two new low fat products into the UK’s giant butter and spreads category. The products both have the lowest fat content in their segments of the category, and the lead spread product has around 85 per cent less saturated fat than standard butter.
The products were launched exclusively with Asda at the end of May. Glanbia Consumer Foods chose Culina as its supply chain partner after assessing the market. It had previously worked with smaller service providers for its existing UK contracts but these could not meet its requirements for larger capacity to support major brands and did not have IT systems that could integrate with its enterprise and business applications.
The WeightWatchers Butter Half Fat and WeightWatchers Spread are manufactured at a Glanbia facility in Belgium before being transported to Culina’s Stafford distribution centre. Orders are then delivered to distribution centres across the UK utilising the Culina network of 13 strategically located distribution centres. Glanbia plans to grow its UK business significantly over the next three years by adding more branded products to its portfolio and extending partnerships with UK retailers.
"We wanted to work with a company that has intimate knowledge of the UK supply chain and retail sector," says William Wake. "Culina demonstrated excellent know-how and expertise."
Culina operates a highly efficient model where storage and distribution infrastructure and services are shared between users throughout its network. Any vehicle on the road will be carrying products for multiple customers while individual pallets might also contain products from different suppliers but with a common, shared destination. In this way Culina optimises not only the resources utilised in each depot and throughout the network but ensures each vehicle is filled as fully as possible for effective and economical transportation. Supply chain efficiencies and economies of scale allow the company to provide an efficient and cost effective solution to customers of all sizes which can be scaled up and down to meet seasonal peaks and the demands of promotions.