Case study of Muller groups
Muller is a multinational producer of dairy products, with a headquarters in Fischach in the German state of Bavaria. Muller has a turnover of €5 billion. It is one of the UK’s best selling yogurt brands and has 21,000 employees.
In 1971, Theobald Alfons Muller incorporated a small dairy in the Bavarian town of Aretsried with just four employees. Today, the Muller Group is an extended family of over 25,000 people. Now it became a fast growing, international, chilled-food business with operations in more than 10 countries. Muller rank as the largest private dairy in Germany and it held the market leading position in yogurt segment since 1995. With the addition of Robert Wiseman Dairies at the beginning of 2012, the building and commissioning Britain?s biggest butter facility in Shropshire in 2013 and having acquired Dairy Crest?s dairy operations in 2015, we now have a substantial presence in the British dairy sector.
We want to be an employer of choice within the food and drink industry, and to be recognised as a great place to work. We are ambitious and determined to achieve our aspiration to build a truly diverse dairy business which is the best in the UK.
A visionary approach
The Müller brand is recognised by almost 100% of the German population and is the cornerstone of the group. This is down to decades of category innovation, from ?Müller Reine Buttermilch? and ?Müllermilch? to the ?corner yogurt? and ?Froop?.
A visionary approach runs through the business, from NPD to process to our facilities. The largest of the Müller Group plants is located in Leppersdorf, Saxony, near to Dresden in Germany. This is Europe?s most modern dairy and around ?820 million has been put into its construction and expansion since 1994. A 2,215-strong workforce is now employed here and 1.7 billion kg of fresh milk is delivered each year.
In 2007, the group invested?22 million in the construction of the world?s first bio-ethanol plant at the Leppersdorf site. We produce 10 million litres a year of this environmentally friendly fuel additive, which comes from the whey by-product, molasses. We also recycle around 1.5 million litres of process water a day, which is treated at a ?vapour processing plant?. This facility purifies the water to a quality comparable with drinking water so it can be fed into the production process and used again.
The large-scale whey IV project was successfully completed in summer 2011, following an investment of around ?70 million. This will provide access to new future-oriented markets for the Müller Group, including sports nutrition, baby food and clinical nutrition.
In addition to the milk-processing subsidiaries, the Müller Group also includes the packaging company Optipack GmbH, its own logistics company Culina and Fahrzeugtechnik Aretsried GmbH. Müller Naturfarm is one of the largest fruit-processing companies in Germany and number three in Europe with production of 110,000 tonnes a year.
When Müller came to us in 2012, over 1 million people had lost their desire for a delicious, yummy Müller Corner. As well as increasing pressure from the competition, their packaging design was turning consumers off. They were starting to stray to other brands…
Our brief was to redesign the complete Müller range, to be an ‘invitation’, rather than a signpost. Moreover, consumers’ perceptions of what delicious food look like having moved on with the advent of celebrity chefs and programmes such as The Great British Bake Off.
We needed to create desire and define individual propositions and personalities for each of the sub brans to aid consumer navigation and get consumers to fall back in love with the brand.
Visual Planning helped us define individual propositions, with the iconic Corners being ‘beautifully delicious and enticing’. At only 99 calories, Light taps into the target mindset of being fun and fashionable and having it all ‘Sassy lusciousness – yogurt in kitten heels’ whilst Rice is a delicious, healthier snack ‘brimming with gorgeous tasty goodness’.
The iconic Corners brand is now beautifully enticing with the corner peel back acting as a tempting invitation into a moment of pleasure. Müller Light has been given a sassy, stylish and lighthearted personality and Rice is bright, optimistic and healthful with the introduction of more natural cues.
We have continued to work closely with Müller designing the packaging and developing names for award winning NPD whipped Greek Style ‘Bliss’ and Müller Light ‘Fruitopolis’. The Müller Light portfolio has been further differentiated with Greek Style products, bringing to life the picture postcard escapism whilst sub brand ‘Goodies’ takes you to a delicious patisserie moment.
With the launch of Müller Rice 5 Grains, we have created a sub brand that leverages the visual language of wholegrain and breakfast to appeal to consumer’s desire for more healthy breakfast options.
The relaunch in December 2012 returned Müller to the number 1 position in the chilled yogurts category with a 10.3% value share, and a £13 million year on year increase in sales, resulting in a prestigious GOLD DBA award for the Coley Porter Bell team.
Today, Müller Light and Müller Corner hold the number 1 and 2 positions in the chilled yogurts category respectively