A commonly held belief is that doorstep deliveries of milk and the demand for milk-based products are declining, due in the main to competitive prices in the Supermarkets.

One dairy that is strongly bucking this trend, however, is Pensworth Dairy. The Company was started as a local, South Wiltshire, dairy in 1975 by two traditional farming families the Bishops and the Jeffreys. The business has expanded rapidly from its humble origins and has been accompanied by an equivalent increase in the geographical spread of the supply area to include a significant section of Central and Southern England.

Talking to Purchasing Manager Malcolm Harvey, it is not difficult to understand why Pensworth Dairy is becoming increasingly successful. “I joined the Company about 12 months ago and was impressed with their growth strategy both in terms of its expanding geographic coverage and its development plans for products. Traditionally, Pensworth had been a typical dairy company supplying milk and products but now we are becoming far more aggressive from a marketing point of view, for example, in carrying out product promotional activities focussed on different areas of the marketplace.”

There are two sides to the Company’s business – the doorstep and the wholesale sectors. There has been a major focus in the doorstep area and now there are now four existing doorstep distribution depots – Warminster, Aylesbury, Watford and Cheshunt with a new one in Kent to open in the near future. In contrast to many other dairies, Pensworth has invested in the doorstep sale and are looking to grow from about 15% of current gallonage to around 25%. In a successful attempt to counter the sales of milk through supermarket, Pensworth offers not only the traditional 1 pint glass bottle but also a 1 and 2 litre polybottles which is a key growth area in doorstep sales. The doorstep deliveries also offer a wide range of butter, spreads, cheeses and yoghurts, together with eggs, potatoes and bread.

On the wholesale side, which accounts for about 85% of the sales, Pensworth delivers to an increasingly wide range of customers, including retail shops, caterers, care homes, guest houses, restaurants, hotels and schools. The geographical area of coverage is much wider, covering the south of England and along the M4 corridor into south Wales and up the M1 corridor as far as Leicester and across into Essex and East Anglia.

With regard to schools, Pensworth supplies 200,000

one-third of a pint polybottles of milk per week and the demand for this is expanding rapidly. In addition, the Company sees schools as a growth area in supplying much of their additional product requirements.

Malcolm concludes, “If you look at how our business has grown, it has gone from a turnover of £25 million to over £40 million in the last two and a half years. This is an exponential rate of growth in a very mature market, which we believe is attributable to our emphasis on customer care, and the quality of both our milk and products. As I said earlier, we are bucking the trend by opening a new milk distribution depot in Kent and are looking to significantly grow our doorstep sales. Our processing factory, which was called Vines Dairy, started in 1910, but we are very forward looking in our approach to the next 100 years. We currently sell 66 million litres of milk a year mainly from farms in Wiltshire Dorset and Somerset, and we are aiming for those Dairy Farmers to be even busier in the future.”

 

For further information please telephone 01725 514330 or visit www.pensworth.co.uk.

 

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