IDB strikes Kerrygold in US as sales climb 17pc
SALES of Kerrygold in the US hit a new record last year, as the company posted a 10th year of double-digit growth.
The Irish Dairy Board (IDB), which owns the Kerrygold brand, said preliminary data showed year-on-year sales rose 17pc in 2011 on a constant currency basis.
Overall, the IDB said international sales of Kerrygold climbed 19pc last year.
IDB chief executive Kevin Lane said Kerrygold was now well placed to take advantage of the expected growth in dairy output.
"As Irish dairy output is forecast to grow by 50pc by 2020 under the Food Harvest 2020 Report, it is vital that the Kerrygold brand -- as one of Ireland's most iconic international food brands -- continues to provide a premium route to market for Irish dairy products. Innovation and continued geographic expansion are core elements of the IDB's ambitious international growth strategy and further investment in these areas is a priority for 2012," he added.
Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan marked Kerrygold's success in New York where he is on an official visit.
"It is encouraging to see the Irish Dairy Board making such strong strides in driving dairy exports in important markets such as the US and indeed in developing additional routes to market globally," he said.
"Kerrygold is one of Ireland's most iconic international success stories and I am delighted to mark a record year for the brand in the US. Exports have a significant role to play in Ireland's economic recovery, (especially with) the ambitious expansion targets set out for the dairy sector in the Government's Food Harvest 2020 Report."
The growth in Kerry last year continues the success of the brand since the IDB was established in 1961 under the management of Sir Anthony O'Reilly.
Up to that point Irish butter had been exported to the UK in bulk form and processed in England.
The business in the US includes a range of butters and cheeses. It expanded in 2011 after the IDB signed an agreement with Tipperary's Grubb Family to market and sell Kerrygold Cashel Blue cheese throughout America.