Fresh-Check Indicator makes Milco stand out

MILCO is eyeing a larger share of the UAE’s dairy market following a recent product re-launch, branding overhaul and the introduction of what the company touts as its product’s ‘ground-breaking’ USP: the ‘Fresh-Check Indicator’.

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By  David Ingham Published  August 1, 2005

MILCO is eyeing a larger share of the UAE’s dairy market following a recent product re-launch, branding overhaul and the introduction of what the company touts as its product’s ‘ground-breaking’ USP: the ‘Fresh-Check Indicator’. The revamp included a redesign of Milco’s logo and new packaging, additions that the company believes will emphasise the freshness of Milco’s products. The indicator is promoted as a fail-safe way of testing that freshness. “When shopping for perishable items like fresh juices and dairy, consumers run the risk of buying expired or inconsumable goods,” said Philippe Devismes, marketing manager, Milco. “The Fresh-Check Indicator means customers no longer need to make that gamble.” According to Milco, the product’s expiry date alone is not sufficient enough evidence to indicate freshness. The way the products are handled and stored prior to hitting the shelves provides an equally valid pointer to their lifespan. “The indicators show whether the products have undergone numerous changes in temperature, which negatively affect their quality. This demonstrates that the real freshness is not only determined by the expiration date, but also by the way these items are handled,” added Devismes. As such, keeping products like milk fresh is almost entirely dependent on maintaining a constant storage temperature of around 4°C and a ‘cold chain’ that incorporates all ports of call, from delivery trucks to warehouses. As for the Fresh-Check itself, the products are marked with two rings, the outer one remaining a constant colour and the inner one acting as the indicator. If the inner ring is lighter in colour than the outer ring, claims Milco, then the product’s freshness is guaranteed. If the rings are the same colour then the item is still fresh but must be consumed soon. Once the inner ring becomes darker than the outer, then the product is no longer safe to consume. “We make sure that consumers are well aware of the freshness of the juices and dairy products they purchase by giving them the power to see for themselves whether or not our stocks have been handled well,” commented Fady Antonios, president & CEO of Milco. Adding to the indicator’s credentials is the official recognition of its reliability by the World Health Organisation and prominent pharmaceutical companies. “Because the Fresh-Check Indicator tracks cold chain breaks on each package, the indicator in turn directly contributes to food safety,” said Devismes. Although the most attention-grabbing of Milco’s developments, the indicator is not the only change the company has made in its bid to win more market share. Various in-store activities have been taking place throughout the UAE, including fruit and yoghurt tasting sessions and promoters explaining the Fresh-Check to customers. The company is also engaged in educating consumers about food hygiene through brochures being distributed in stores, as well as school factory visits. “During the last few months we have completely reassessed the taste and quality of all our products to ensure that Milco is offering a superior standard. We are also seeking co-branding partnerships with well-known international brands,” said Devismes.

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