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Keytone Dairy has received $1.1 million in orders from Walmart China, the company’s largest order to date. It coincides with the launch of Keytone Dairy’s first vegan, ready-to-drink protein product, Tonik Plant, which aims to tap into the plant-based, better-for-you and on-demand trends.

The order from Walmart China is due for delivery in October 2020 and will be produced in Christchurch, New Zealand. The order is 1.3x larger than Walmart’s prior order.

“The orders are increasing in size and frequency and with increased manufacturing capacity, Keytone is well placed to service this growing demand,” Keytone Dairy said in a statement.

“Walmart China places orders for private label milk powders under their Sam’s Club brand, operating 26 Sam’s Club megastores today through China. Walmart China has an ambitious growth plan for Sam’s Club stores following the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to quadruple Sam’s Club to more than 100 stores over the coming years.”

In April, Keytone announced a long-term manufacturing agreement with Iovate Health Sciences Australia, confirming $3.6 million in opening orders.

Tonik Plant launch

Keytone Dairy’s launch of Tonik Plant will be among one of the first plant-based, ready-to-drink protein shakes available in the Australian market, and has been developed, manufactured and commercialised in-house by the company’s development team.

The Tonik Plant range will have six flavours and will be manufactured in Keytone Dairy’s Melbourne bottling facility.

“The success of the Tonik brand speaks to our ability as a vertically integrated brand owner and manufacturer, offering the Company enhanced margin opportunities and speed to market,” said Keytone Dairy CEO Danny Rotman.

“Despite the unprecedented times in Victoria and the newly announced Stage 4 restrictions, we confirm the Victorian Government’s advice that as an essential food manufacturer we will continue to operate through the lockdown period, enabling us to service the growing demand of our client base, including that of our international clients such as Walmart China.”

During the Stage Three lockdown in Melbourne, Keytone’s facilities operated in full. The month of July has recorded “strong sales growth across all Keytone divisions including Proprietary Brands and Contract Manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand (this strong growth excludes the Walmart order outlined above)”, the company said.

All of Keytone’s facilities outside of Victoria, including Christchurch and Sydney, continue to operate as normal, servicing the Company’s proprietary brands and diversified client base.

The company has also launched its direct-to-consumer milk powders website, which sells its KeyDairy Whole and Skim Milk powders. 

“This new e-commerce website for the company offers a further distribution channel for the company’s milk powders and importantly further validation and access for local consumers targeting international markets,” Keytone Dairy said.

The KeyDairy product range will continue to be rolled out as products and packaging are redesigned and released to market in the short term.

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