PHD exports picking up
Juices and milks produced by Pine Hill Dairy (PHD) are increasing their presence in the regional export market, with St Lucia overtaking Antigua as the leading Caribbean importer of these Barbados products.
In an effort to ensure it maintains market share in the local market, PHD also plans to diversify its product range here. In a recent report on the first three months of its current 2013/2014 financial year, company chairman Anthony King and director Richard Cozier said revenues in that first quarter decreased because of “deep” milk discounts in September and October.
But before that, while reporting to shareholders on the 2012/2013 performance, the board of directors detailed positive news in the Caribbean export market. “During 2013 we registered increases in sales over prior year as we regained significant ground in the juice category through improved sales performances in the Guyana and Trinidad markets,” they said.
“A distributor’s conference was held again . . . in a continued effort to increase direct communications with our 14 distributors and introduce the many new packages and ranges. This financial year saw St Lucia take the number one spot over Antigua as our largest export market.
“Guyana and Trinidad continued to show growth, with Trinidad expanding their portfolio into the milk category. The Jungle Pak Juices were introduced into export territories in March and continue to do well in Guyana, Trinidad and St Lucia,” they added.
PHD officials also referred to the local market and the company’s “several decisions to position the company for growth in economically viable categories whilst also exiting those where returns were negative”.
“Chief among the latter was yoghurt which, due to its high input and conversion costs, could not compete with the less expensive imports and was therefore discontinued from December 2012. The lost sales revenues from this category were made up largely from increased sales in the milk
category, especially in flavoured milks which improved over last year due in large measure to the success following the launch of the Cookies & Cream option,” the directors explained.
“Additionally a new flavoured milk 200ml line targeted at young consumers was launched and sales to date are encouraging. The decommissioning of the yoghurt line provided us with an opportunity to reenter the fresh pasteurised milk category as some of the equipment previously dedicated to yogurt was now available for this option.
“We therefore launched a half-gallon option in the fresh whole milk category and sales are increasing. In the new financial year we plan to expand the range with both a smaller package option as well as a ‘reduced fat’ alternative.”