Global dairy demand on the rise, ice cream most popular segment down under

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th December 2008

Global demand for dairy food products has risen by 15% from 40.9 million tonnes in 2003 to an estimated 47.0 million tonnes in 2008, according to a new report from food and drink consultancy Zenith International.”Global consumption has increased for all the products we studied,” Zenith Dairy Market Intelligence Manager, Esther Renfrew, commented. “Spoonable yoghurt has seen the greatest growth over the past five years at 23%. Ice cream volume has also advanced swiftly by 18%, with the majority of additional sales coming from Asia/Australasia and the Middle East.”

Cheese accounts for the largest segment of the global dairy sector analysed by Zenith, with 18.2 million tonnes consumed in 2008, equivalent to 39% of the total. This is followed by ice cream at 14.3 million tonnes and a 30% share, then spoonable yoghurt on 9.9 million tonnes and 21% of volume. Forecasts to 2012 indicate a further increase of 10% to 51.8 million tonnes, with spoonable yoghurt gaining as much as 16% as functional innovation drives consumer interest in the category.

Omega-3 Ice-Cream

The Zenith report identifies a number of economic and market factors that are influencing consumption patterns, including:

* growing populations and prosperity leading to greater demand
* rising costs and climate change causing supply instability
* consumers placing more emphasis on functionality in dairy products, along with convenience and healthy indulgence
* government policies and industry marketing improving the perception of dairy products and their environmental impact

Zenith’s 2008 Global Dairy Products report also discovered that:

* There are only two markets where volume and consumption per person decreased during the review period – fromage frais in West Europe and ice cream in North America. All other markets showed overall growth.
* Although market values have fluctuated due to exchange rate instability, local value per kilo has been rising in the majority of product categories.
* Ice cream dominates the dairy product market in Asia/Australasia.