‘Convenience is key’ as Glanbia continues to grow

At the Glanbia plc Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Wednesday, the group managing director Siobhan Talbot gave a promising update on one of the company’s recent acquisitions – highlighting convenience as key in further developing performance nutrition.

Keeping a close eye on evolving consumer demand, Talbot stressed the importance of convenience as a “huge trend” at present.

The managing director highlighted that 94% of Americans in the US snack every day – while snacking as a general habit is also on the rise.

This is of significance for the Irish company, both from ingredients production and as a brand owner of a convenience health-food brand that ranges from bars and powders to beverages.

Technology

Technological convenience was also highlighted by Talbot, who noted that more and more consumers are becoming digitally connected and online.

She referenced as a case in point that there are now more smart phones on the planet than there are people, proving the progression of online technologies in recent years.

It was for these reasons that the Irish dairy giant invested last year in the Dutch enterprise Body and Fit, a brand that is only available online.

Body and Fit, which fits into the Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN) division, is described as “a leading direct-to-consumer (DTC) online branded business focused on performance nutrition”.

In the first quarter of 2018, GPN saw its revenue increase by 9.3%; this was reportedly driven by volume growth of 5.5% and the Body and Fit acquisition delivering 7.8% – offset by a price decline of 4%.

Clean and green

“Clean labelling” was also underlined as a long-running trend that continues to gain momentum with consumers, as people wish to learn more about what is in their food and what they are consuming, in terms of ingredients and treatment.

The relatively light processing of protein in dairy can work well in de-mystifying for consumers what they are buying and plays to the natural strengths of dairy-based nutrition, Talbot said.