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Graham’s rising towards the top in food ranking

Robert GrahamGraham’s, Scotland’s largest independent dairy, has become the 7th biggest take-home food and drinks brand in Scotland with more than a million shoppers now buying one of its products at least once a year.

The figures for the top 40 brands from Kantar Worldpanel will be published in the Scottish Grocer next week and will confirm that almost half of Scottish households now buy Graham’s Dairy-branded goods.

The growth in the brand contributed to a 25% surge in surge in sales from £68 million to £85m with pre-tax profits rising 31.3% from £1.007m to £1.322m.

The business works with more than 90 dairy farmers across Scotland and employs 500 staff  and recently overtook its Danish rival as the best selling butter brand in Scotland.

Robert Graham (pictured), managing director of Graham’s The Family Dairy and grandson of its founder, said:  “While we have all worked incredibly hard to achieve this increase in sales, margins remain extremely tight.  We are in a fortunate position to respond quickly and creatively to react to requests from our customers.  We can make decisions round the kitchen table in the farmhouse.

“We are also excited about the prospect of creating a new £20m purpose-built dairy that will enable a significant step change in our business.  This will not only be great for the Stirling economy but incredibly important for the long-term future of the dairy industry in Scotland.”

The new dairy is subject to the outcome of the firm’s Airthrey Green development proposals currently sitting with Stirling Council. The dairy would accommodate a new product development research facility and create up to 450 jobs including 50 apprenticeships.

Graham said: “As farmers ourselves who continue to milk our own cows we understand the pressures farmers face.  Farm gate prices are always difficult discussions but our direct relationships help us maintain good relations.  We are currently exploring a new balancing scheme where our farmers will have the option to produce a certain amount for the liquid market and a percentage for manufacturing, to provide them with more financial security and visibility for the future.”

Carol Graham, marketing director, said:  “The continual feedback we receive from customers across the UK is really fantastic and it is our direct conversations with them that is driving our ambitions further.  Our new product launches in the year ahead will allow us a greater opportunity to speak with the people that choose to buy our products.”

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