Is New Zealand becoming too reliant on China as a customer for primary product exports?
Chief executive Richard Wyeth says Taupo Pure is a premium international brand under which Miraka will produce a 1kg sachet of milk powder aimed at busy Chinese women who want to give their children a good start each day.
“Our market research shows women in China are busy people and the times they can control their children’s food is evenings and mornings.
“This powder product is targeted at giving opportunity to a family to sit down morning and evening to have a glass of milk and so control children’s nutrition,” he says.
Miraka is now finalising its China distributors but Wyeth says much of the product will be sold online, notably on WeChat, a popular platform with at least one billion account holders.
“All our research shows consumers there are buying more and more products via their phones using WeChat. There is nothing quite like it in NZ – it’s huge.
“The other week when I was there we ordered Subway on WeChat and it was delivered in half an hour. It is incredible how the consumers’ buying habits are evolving.”
Wyeth says the Taupo Pure brand will help optimise the value of Miraka’s milk powder, telling the story of the milk’s beautiful origins -- the lake, mountains and grass-fed cows. These facts will appeal to Chinese consumers.
Also soon to be launched in New Zealand is a Whai Ora (in pursuit of wellness) brand powdered smoothie drink aimed at ‘lifestyle’ consumers, especially women. It consists of milk powder blended with oats, honey, fruit and vegetables, all sourced locally, packed in 400g cans.
“The consumer will put some in a blender and mix it with water to produce the smoothie. This is aimed at the NZ market, though some will be sold in Malaysia and Singapore.”
Wyeth says Miraka has always planned to develop consumer products based on whole milk powder. The Whai Ora brand will enable Miraka to tell the company’s story. As part of its promotion, Miraka has sponsored the Spirited Women’s Adventure in Taupo.
Blending and packaging of the Whai Ora smoothie drink will be outsourced but in time when volumes build up it may be done by Miraka itself.
The new product launches are resulting in more sales and marketing and innovation staff being employed.