KIEWA milk will be back in Border shops by the end of next month, the owner of the label anticipates.
Kyvalley Dairy Group owner Wayne Mulcahy said it was hoped one and two-litre plastic bottles of plain Kiewa milk would on the market by November 30.
He said it was then expected 500-ml plastic bottles of iced coffee and chocolate flavoured Kiewa milk would be on sale before Christmas.
“The artwork will be a little bit different but when people see them they will recognise that’s the Kiewa product,” Mr Mulcahy said.
Goulburn Valley’s Kyvalley bought intellectual property and recipes tied to the Kiewa Country brand from Murray Goulburn which ended milk production at Kiewa in July.
Mr Mulcahy said his firm had reached agreements with an undisclosed number of dairy farmers in the Kiewa Valley to ensure the milk reflected the brand name.
“We’ve made that commitment to people,” he said.
“I understand one of the key provenances of the Kiewa milk is that the milk came from the Kiewa Valley and the intention is to honour that.”
Adding impetus to Kyvalley’s bid to restore Kiewa iced coffee is the emergence of a similar product from the Riverina Fresh dairy.
The Wagga company began selling its Border Blend iced coffee on Friday after taste testing with aficionados to replicate the flavour of the Kiewa Country brand.
“The fact Riverina Fresh’s is out there now we can’t do anything about that – it is what it is,” Mr Mulcahy said.
“With us it will be the genuine Kiewa, it will be with Kiewa milk and it will be the real deal.
“It will be hard for Riverina to go against it.”
Mr Mulcahy said experimental processing of the iced coffee at the firm’s Kyabram dairy was imminent.
“We’ve ordered all the ingredients, some of them we haven’t received yet and in the next week we’re starting on internal trials and when we’re happy with it we’ll do some sampling externally,” he said.
“Our intention is to have some tasting panels set up, so people that are regular buyers of it and know the taste will be the target of some of those.”
Mr Mulcahy said the iced coffee would be supplied in clear plastic bottles, rather than cartons, to fit into the company’s production line.
He said one distributor would supply the former Kiewa milk footprint.