Congo go crazy for a taste of Kerrygold
Democratic Republic of Congo now fifth-highest export market as IDB continues to grow presence in a rapidly developing Africa
While the top four export markets for Kerrygold in the last year may not come as a surprise (Ireland, Britain, Germany and USA), the country coming in fifth place might -- the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With a population of more than 68 million, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or Zaire as it was formerly known, is the 18th most populous state in the world, and the fourth most populous nation in Africa.
The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) is also currently active in 13 other African countries and is developing and strengthening its presence in Russia, the Middle East and China.
In terms of dairy market development, Africa is in what is known as the "early liquid stage", when mothers become more discerning about what their baby is being fed. The target audience in the African markets is, therefore, mothers with children.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Irishness is not a key selling point in Africa, unlike Germany, US and Britain. In terms of promotion and investment in Africa, the IDB uses lots of outdoor advertising and graphics such as hand-painted Kerrygold logos on the walls surrounding sports grounds.
The most recent marketing success story for the IDB in sub-Saharan Africa was the launch of BeoMilk, a new brand of fat filled milk powder, last year.
Sales figures have been showing encouraging growth and BeoMilk is performing ahead of target so the IDB is planning to further extend the format range of BeoMilk powders in the coming months.