Alaska Milk says holiday season to bring better business

MILK PRODUCT manufacturer Alaska Milk Corp. is expecting a better performance for its products during the coming holiday season on the back of the economy’s reopening.

“This Christmas season should be better than what we saw in the last few years, especially with the country opening up. We are hoping for a good Christmas,” Alaska Milk Managing Director Tarang Gupta told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing in Makati City on Wednesday.

Mr. Gupta added that the company observed a change in consumer consumption as the country’s economy reopened after the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“After the economy opened up, we have been seeing that the consumers are getting more responsive. What we also see post-pandemic is that there is an inherent desire for more affordable but also nutritious products. We do see that change in consumption,” Mr. Gupta said.

“Milk consumption is relatively less seasonal. But we see seasonality, especially for some products in Christmas celebrations such as all-purpose cream,” he added.

Mr. Gupta declined to comment on price increase proposals, citing factors that constantly change such as foreign exchange rates.

“It is a constant movement,” he said, citing the “multiple factors that come: global dairy prices, the impact of foreign exchange, at the same time also the capability of consumers to pay.”

“It is a constant calculation based on multiple factors,” he said.

In August, the Trade department issued a suggested retail price bulletin (SRP) for 218 basic necessities and prime commodities. Processed milk was one of the products under the SRP bulletin that had price increases ranging from 3% to 10%.

According to Mr. Gupta, the company’s products are mostly locally produced but most of the raw materials used in production are imported.

“Finished goods are predominantly locally produced such as evaporated milk, condensed milk, and powdered milk. These are all locally produced. But the dairy raw materials are all predominantly imported. With the foreign exchange impact that has happened, it does have a cost implication,” Mr. Gupta said.

“There are some finished products that we import like the fresh milk, which comes from Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, Alaska Milk announced the creation of a shared facility that will offer dairy farmer training, farmer-to-farmer exchange programs, exchange of academic materials, publications, information, and research as well as lectures and discussions.

The facility called Philippine-Netherlands Dairy Excellence Center is in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the National Dairy Authority, the University of the Philippines Los Baños – Dairy Training and Research Institute, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Manila, and Dutch cooperative CRV.

It is expected to help the growth of the local dairy sector to help meet the country’s growing milk demand.

Alaska Milk is a subsidiary of Dutch multinational dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina based in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Its products include evaporated milk, condensed milk, culinary creams, powdered milk, ready-to-drink milk, and coffee creamer. —Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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