Consumption summary

The major Australian consumer dairy products are drinking milk, cheese, butter and butter blends, and yoghurt.

Per capita consumption trends over the past two decades have varied quite significantly by individual product. These trends reflect changes in consumer tastes and preferences in response to a number of factors such as multicultural influences on food trends, health perceptions around dairy products and manufacturers’ responses (with low-fat variants), new product development, flavour and packaging innovations, competitive category offerings, and the distribution and hence availability of products.

Per capita consumption of drinking milk is currently estimated at 105 litres. It remains at very high levels compared to other comparable countries – thanks in no small part to the relentless expansion of the ‘coffee culture’ in Australia during the last decade.

Cheese consumption has stabilised in recent years at around 13.5 kg per person, as has the split between cheddar and non-cheddar varieties. Almost 55% of cheese consumption is made up of cheddar types and the remaining 45% is spread across the wide range of non-cheddar cheese varieties available in Australia.

Annual per capita consumption of butter in Australia is around 4.0 kgs. Consumers continue to remain interested in the ‘naturalness’ of butter, together with its superior taste and cooking functionality.

Yoghurt is the ultimate ‘healthy snack’ for time-pressed consumers, combining both convenience and health attributes, with per capita consumption at 7.1 kg per year.

Per capita consumption of major dairy products (litres/kg)

  Milk (l) Cheese (kg) Butter/Blends (kg) Yoghurt (kg)
104.5 13.6 3.9 7.3
2011/12 (r)  106.0 13.4 3.9 7.4
2012/13 (r)  106.7 13.5
3.7 7.4
2013/14 (r)
2014/15 (r)
105.3  13.6 4.0
2015/16 (p)
 105.0 13.9
 3.9  7.1
 Source: Dairy manufactuers and Dairy Australia