The a2 Milk Co. announced Nov. 19, at its annual meeting in Melbourne, Australia, an increase in year-over-year global sales and outlined its growth efforts in the U.S.
The increased sales helped fuel a 40.5% rise in total combined fiscal 2018 revenue for company. The a2 Milk Co. posted a 58.5% gain in operating earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in its results for the first four months. In addition, the company reported that, in the U.S., it is continuing to build strong brand awareness with a 50% increase in distribution since the end of June 2018. To date, the company has 9,000 stores in the U.S., and sales velocities in both new and existing accounts continues.
The a2 Milk Co. is a dairy nutrition company headquartered in Melbourne. The reported revenue results represent the company’s first four months of its 2019 fiscal year.
Jayne Hrdlicka, The a2 Milk Co. global managing director and chief executive officer, said, “Pleasingly, recent research is showing the a2 Milk brand in the U.S. is successfully growing category consumption, sourcing volume across multiple product segments and trading up consumers from conventional milk. This is in line with our experience in Australia. It’s encouraging as it shows our ability to build a broad-scale brand that is ripe for further growth and expansion.”
U.S. consumers can now find a2 Milk at more than 1,000 Food Lion stores throughout the Southeast as well as at select Costco and Walmart outlets. Other major grocers carrying a2 Milk products include Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Whole Foods Market, Market Basket, Sprouts, Safeway, King Soopers, Target, Ralphs, Publix, ShopRite and The Fresh Market.
The a2 Milk Co. continues to extend the geographic reach of its U.S. distribution network across California, the Northeast and the Southeast, with plans for expansion throughout the Southwest, West and Midwest. A2 Milk products are now available in almost all 50 states and Washington, D.C., the company said.
“The growth that The a2 Milk Co. has experienced since launching its U.S. expansion in January represents a true validation of our consumer proposition,” said Blake Waltrip, CEO of The a2 Milk Co. U.S. “The belief in the power of our product by a high-caliber retailer like Food Lion bears out the promise of the a2 Milk brand and takes us yet another step closer to bringing American consumers back to dairy, helping dairy farmers in the process. We remain committed to providing solutions that can help more people enjoy the nutritional goodness that only comes from real and natural milk.”
Ordinary cows’ milk consumed contains a mix of two main types of beta-casein proteins, A1 and A2 protein. Published research suggests that a2 Milk may help avoid stomach discomfort in some people sensitive to these proteins. That’s because a2 Milk contains only the A2 protein type and no A1 protein. A2 Milk products include whole, 2% reduced fat, chocolate 2% reduced fat and 1% low fat.
The a2 Milk Co. works with local U.S. dairy farmers to identify cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein type and process their milk separately, making it possible for those with sensitivities to enjoy real cows’ milk.
The company was founded in 2000 in New Zealand by Dr. Corran McLachlan after scientific research showed that proteins in milk affect people differently. Since its founding, the company has flourished in its home market Australia, where it is the leading premium milk brand, with more than 10% of the total supermarket milk category and more recently has become market leader in infant formula with an approximate 33% value share. This success also has translated into the China market, with a 5.6% share of the China infant formula category estimated to be valued at approximately $18 billion (U.S.).
The a2 Milk Co. works closely with all of its U.S. farmers, and all their farms are certified by Validus for animal welfare. The company said it pays a premium to all its farmers when sourcing A1 protein-free milk in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.