The major Australian consumer dairy products are drinking milk, cheese, butter and butter blends, and yogurt.
Per capita consumption of major dairy products (litres/kg)
Source: Dairy manufactuers and Dairy Australia
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 multitude of variables, such as multicultural influences on food trends, health perceptions about 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 around 106 litres, growing strongly over the last two years, and at very high levels compared to many countries - thanks in no small part to the expansion of the ‘coffee-culture’ in Australia during the last decade.
Cheese consumption has stabilised in recent years at nearly 13kg per person; as has the split between cheddar to non-cheddar varieties - with approxiamately 60% being cheddar types and the remaining 40% spread across the wide range of non-cheddar cheese varieties available in Australia.
Annual per capita consumption of butter in Australia is just below 4 kgs. The introduction of butter and vegetable oil based dairy blends in the early-1990’s—which are easier to spread and lower in saturated fats—helped stabilise a long-term decline. Consumers are also interested in the ‘naturalness’ of butter, together with its superior taste and cooking functionality.
Yogurt is the ultimate ‘healthy snack’ for time-pressed consumers, combining both convenience and health attributes; with per capita consumption at just over 7kg per year.