December 4, 2012
A Kingaroy-based business has won a $1.5 million 12-month contract to supply gourmet food oils to Woolworths.
Proteco Gold will start supplying the retailer with almond, avocado and macadamia oils from August next year. The products will be sold in 250ml bottles under Woolworths own “Select” brand.
As well, Proteco will start supplying Woolworths with macadamia oil under its own “Pressed Purity” label in January.
The four products will be sold nationally through 830 Woolworths stores.
Proteco’s Josh Gadischke told southburnett.com.au today the deal would lead to an increase of about two staff members. And he’s hopeful the contract will be renewed.
“A couple of the lines will be new to Woolworths. If they are accepted well by consumers we expect the contract could be ongoing as Proteco is a major manufacturer of these products and we don’t face a lot of competition,” Josh said.
“Woolworths say there is a upward trend in gourmet oil speciality lines. This was the tipping point. They think there’s now enough demand for them to be included as Select products.
“It has been encouraging for us, too, as our target market is speciality oils. We are also seeing an increase in sales in our traditional outlets of health food shops, delicatessens and restaurants.”
Josh said it had been part of the strategic plan for Proteco’s business growth to try to get its products into supermarkets.
For the past four years, the company has pitched it products at Woolworth’s “oil category” product review in Sydney.
In the past, it has employed a broker to make the presentation on its behalf. However this year, as Proteco had employed a full-time sales and export manager in June, the company made the pitch themselves.
“He brought the professional skills and confidence for us to make the presentation on our own,” Josh said.
It obviously paid off …
Proteco will be producing about 150,000 bottles of each variety per year for Woolworths.
Everything will be done in-house in Kingaroy, including labelling. The completed bottles will be shipped directly to Woolworths distribution centres from Kingaroy using a local contractor.
Josh said the raw materials were “as local as they can be”. The avocados are sourced from Kumbia and the macadamias from near Bundaberg. Only the almonds are brought in, from South Australia.
“This contract has given a small business like us a good shot in the arm,” Josh said.
“It provides a volume of production that brings efficiencies; these efficiencies make us cost competitive in other markets.”
Proteco currently manufactures 13 different types of speciality oils and Josh says the business has been steadily growing.
“We have had continual growth for four years at a time when things have been tough,” he said.
“And we have continually increased staff which is good for the area. We have also used a lot of local tradespeople … engineering services, electricians, silo manufacturers. This all comes with a growing business.”