TASTY CHEDDAR: John Cochrane with the two Kenilworth Dairies cheese varieties now available through Aldi Supermarkets nationwide.
TASTY CHEDDAR: John Cochrane with the two Kenilworth Dairies cheese varieties now available through Aldi Supermarkets nationwide. Troy Jegers

How a Mary Valley dairy has taken on the national market

KENILWORTH Dairies products are being exported across the country through the three major supermarkets and independents.

Since Gympie couple John and Marg Cochrane bought the business in July 2017 and employed Donna Dodson as their marketing manager, the former boutique dairy has gone from strength to strength.

Aldi supermarkets have picked up two of Kenilworth Dairies' award winning cheeses - the club cheddar (which won silver at last year's Brisbane Ekka) and cheddar with pickled onion and chives (which won bronze at the Ekka).

Mr Cochrane said these are now licensed label products with Aldi, produced and packaged at the Mary Valley dairy and distributed to Aldi supermarkets across the country.

Coles and Woolworths also carry some of their products.

At the recent Sydney Royal Easter Show, Kenilworth Dairies' Rich Chocolate Mousse won the champion dessert category for mousse, yoghurt and custard.

Woolworths now stocks it in stores across Australia, along with the vintage cheddar. Locally, the supermarket stocks two yoghurt varieties and two bronze winning cheeses from the 2018 Ekka, the garlic and cracked pepper and the mango and macadamia nut cheeses.

Coles outlets in Queensland carry five lines of Kenilworth dairy products, including the two bronze winners.

But it's the IGA outlets that carry the most products, according to Mr Cochrane.

 

Gympie Kenilworth Dairies - Donna Dodson
Donna Dodson with Kenilworth Dairies prize winning Rich Chocolate Mousse. Troy Jegers

Those are the IGAs that stretch from the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales to Cairns - covering more than 3000km.

"They carry up to 17 lines of our products (at the Gympie region IGAs)," he said.

The top gong for their chocolate mousse was not the only prize Kenilworth Dairies claimed at the Royal Easter Show.

It also received two golds, a silver and a bronze for its honey yoghurt, natural yoghurt, chocolate and salted caramel mousse and vanilla mousse respectively.

"It's a massive achievement for us," Mr Cochrane said.

Ms Dodson said the dairy had 17 lines of product in contention at this year's Brisbane Ekka, which will be judged next week.

Mr Cochrane is confident, given past performances, the products will do well.

"The dairy industry is tough - if you don't have the best, you won't sell it," he said.