Valio started exporting cheese from Finland to North America in the early 1950s before establishing a US subsidiary. High quality, great tasting Finlandia Swiss emmental is still a big hit in the major East Coast cities like New York. Now Finlandia has added premium butter to its portfolio of 16 types of cheese.
Finlandia Cheese is a comparatively small but consistently competitive player in the US with net sales of around 76 million euros, up 15% on the first half of 2014. The Northeast with its 60 million consumers is the company’s natural territory and across the US, Finlandia’s customers include Walmart, Costco, Ahold, and Whole Foods, some of the biggest and best-known retailers in the country.
Finlandia’s dynamic workforce focuses on profitability and development, carefully tailoring innovative product launches and packages, reducing costs effectively and concentrating on quality.
With the US economy growing again and the strengthening dollar favoring imports, Finlandia is well placed to meet rising demand head on as household purchasing power increases.
Premium imported butter
Finlandia brand premium butter launched in late 2014 and sales have risen month on month. It’s currently available in some 4000 stores through 35 retail chains and a new distribution agreement with Walmart means the only way is up. The product is positioned in the premium segment rather than competing with the mass market brands and projected sales for 2015 are around 2.5 million packages.
Consumer interest has shifted away from margarine to butter. It’s the more natural product and Finlandia butter is made with pure fresh milk from family-run Finnish farms. The prevailing trends for natural, clean and healthy food are mirrored at Valio, a company that like many US consumers avoids artificial growth hormones and additives. Valio has banned GMO in its dairy feed.
Finlandia is pulling out all the stops in sales and marketing for the coming months as the US high season for butter starts wi
th Halloween before Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. The social media buzz picking up around Finlandia butter is backed by the most essential ingredient, an excellent product.
Right place, right time
With the US economy growing at an annual rate of 3.7% in stark comparison to Valio’s European markets, and the prices of consumer butter comparatively higher in the US than Europe, Finlandia is making a significant contribution to Valio worldwide.
Valio’s Finlandia® brand red, white and blue logo featuring a roaring lion’s head is well recognized on the East Coast in particular.