The announcement coincides with the launch of the company’s Lighter Slightly Salted Spreadable Scottish Butter and Organic Spreadable Scottish Butter.
The move adds to its existing Scottish Slightly Salted Spreadable Butter, which was introduced in 2011 and is widely available in Asda, Lidl, Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose stores. It is the only Scottish spreadable butter on the market.
Part of the investment was generated via a Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant from the Scottish government.
Graham’s claimed the spreadable butter market was a key ingredient in the Scottish dairy sector, accounted for £3 of every £4 spent on butter and had an estimated value of £63M.
“Spreadables account for 70% of butter sales in Scotland, but a staggering 96% of that spreadable butter isn’t made in our country,” said Robert Graham, md of Graham’s The Family Dairy and grandson of the firm’s founder.
“Graham’s Spreadable Butter is the only Scottish spreadable and is already the fastest-growing spread on the market, with sales up 76% year-on-year but this is just four percent of the market share.
‘Exploring export market’
“Our focus is growing our presence in retailers across Scotland before we look south of the border, as there is a lot to go at on our home turf. Looking further ahead, we’re also exploring the export market and will be attending the world’s largest food fair Anuga in Cologne in October to consider opportunities.”
Graham said the company’s products gave the 98 Scottish farmers it worked with an outlet for their milk.
Graham’s new 500g Lighter Slightly Salted Spreadable Scottish Butter is now on sale in Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury in Scotland at a recommended retail price (rrp) of £2.80. Sainsbury is also stocking the new 500g Organic Spreadable (rrp £3.20).
In addition to spreadable butter, Graham’s has already diversified from milk and cream into a variety of products including butter, cheese and ice cream.
‘Future of sector’
Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “It is great to see new products being introduced to the market and it reinforces their [Graham’s] commitment to securing the future of the sector – something the Scottish government very much supports, as set out in our recently-published Scottish Dairy Plan.
“I’ve no doubt this latest venture will help Graham’s cement their reputation as one of Scotland’s leading dairy companies and brands.”
In March, the company unveiled plans to build a £20M dairy, research centre and training academy in Stirling, which would create 450 jobs including 50 local apprenticeships.
£20M each year
The 13,935m2 facility, which would include production lines for milk, cream, cheese and spreadable butter, is expected to generate an extra £20M each year for Stirling’s economy.
The proposed site would be in addition to Graham’s The Family Dairy’s existing operations at Airthrey Kerse in Bridge of Allan, its processing plant in Nairn and its depots throughout Scotland.
Graham’s grew its sales by 25% in the year to March 31, 2015 to £85M, with its pre-tax profits rising to £1.3M.