Choice sees little benefit in added extras to milk

Posted by Editorial on 1st September 2009

A new study by leading consumer group Choice of more than 100 different brands and types of cows’ milk has suggested the only meaningful differences are between full-cream, low-fat and skim.It contends the generic brands typically sold by supermarkets under their own labels, which command 43% of the market, are effectively the same quality as the well-known brands, which can cost up to twice as much.

The consumer group also claimed that most people get no real benefit from the more expensive ‘milk’ products with added extras and non-diary additives such as minerals, vitamins and even fish oil. These include products that can’t be called ‘milk’ on the label under the Food Standards Code but look like milk, are packaged like milk and are kept in the milk fridge in supermarkets.

Some say they are low in saturated fat but Choice says the difference is so small it’s hardly worth paying up to double for. While some that contain omega-3 fats would require the consumption of 2 litres to get the same quantity as a small portion (50g) of Atlantic Salmon.

“Although some brands claim to be high in calcium, normal, unadulterated milk is a good source of calcium regardless of the brand,” Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said.

“Likewise with the added extras in milk – you’re essentially just paying an excess for what amounts to a very negligible benefit in terms of added vitamins.”