Britain’s milkmen are delivering more than £300 million worth of dairy products and household necessities.
The milkman has become ‘the corner shop on wheels’ for more than two million homes, the Dairy UK Doorstep Delivery conference in Haydock Park heard today.
Simon Bates, Dairy UK Communications Director, said: “The doorstep business is extremely proud of the role it plays in the local community, especially amongst the most vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly. This is apparent through the feedback the industry receives through many thousands of customer comments.
“Doorstep delivery is a great British tradition dating from the 19th Century and while the market has changed over the years, many milkmen are still considered to be cornerstones of their local communities. One dairyman has claimed he has more milkmen on the streets in parts of a large city than there are policemen!”
Today’s conference heard from milkmen who have been maintaining or expanding their businesses, and actively developing and growing their customer base. Despite challenging market conditions, these innovative dairymen are driving their businesses forwards by:
• Developing internet ordering, order changes, promotions and sales
• Using their websites and social media to communicate and develop relationships with existing and potential customers
• Local advertising and promotional campaigns, sometimes including local radio, events in shopping centres, leaflets, goods promotions and media advertising.
• Introducing electronic payment methods and, of course, providing high levels of customer care and promoting their “local” credentials.
“Britain’s milkmen are widely respected as trusted food suppliers,” said Bates “and with continuing innovations in product lines and ordering/payment systems, are also undoubtedly providing a home delivery service for the 21st century.”
Some interesting facts about today’s doorstep delivery service:
• Milkmen serve on average 475 customers per round
• On average milkmen stock around 245 products – not just milk, cream and bread, but very often a range of household necessities from eggs to bin liners and kitchen foil, to fruit juice, potatoes, snacks and pet food.
• Many milkmen also often offer a range of heavy and bulky items, with garden compost very popular, along with bags of gritting salt in the winter.
• A returnable glass milk bottle makes an average of 20 round trips on the doorstep, and around 80% of doorstep milk is delivered in the glass bottle, with 20% delivered in plastic bottles.
• 46% of doorstep milk is still delivered on electric milk floats, with the remaining deliveries, especially in more isolated and rural areas, made with diesel vehicles.
Customers can search for a local milkman through the dedicated website – www.findmeamilkman.net