Australian manufacturers produce a range of fresh dairy products, including yoghurts, dairy desserts, chilled custards and creams, dairy dips and frozen products such as ice-cream.
Over the past two decades, yoghurt production has grown considerably. This has been the result of the product category’s ability to meet consumer requirements for convenient, healthy snacks in an environment of time-poor lifestyles. Following the COVID-19 outbreak retail sales of yoghurt have remained strong as consumers have consumed more products when cooking and baking at home. The segment includes strong international brands, such as Ski, Yoplait and Chobani. In the yoghurt market there is an ongoing trend away from sweetened and flavoured varieties towards more traditional, unflavoured types of yoghurt, such as Greek-style yoghurt. These unflavoured varieties are perceived to be healthier, more ‘natural’ and attractive to health-conscious consumers. Yoghurt sales of the unflavoured, traditional types have overtaken those of sweetened and flavoured yoghurts, to be the most commonly sold yoghurt product.
Growth in yoghurt sales has been underpinned by regular product innovation. Innovation has taken place in the areas of packaging, flavour combinations and the use of probiotic cultures. New products, such as drinking yoghurts and single snack servings in convenience outlets, have also helped drive growth.
Dairy desserts are a low volume and high value dairy category. These products include mousses, crème caramels and fromage frais. They are marketed as an indulgence or treat item and generally targeted to adult consumers. Children’s products include fromage frais and flavoured custards that often feature popular cartoon characters on-pack.
Chilled custards, a traditional favourite, have shown marginal increases in sales in recent years as manufacturers expand their product offerings into new flavours and small, snack-sized, single-serve plastic cups sold in multi-packs.
Cream sales decreased in 2019-20, however remain an important fresh dairy product and widely used in cooking. Regular and sour creams are both used extensively as accompaniments or ingredients. Like with butter, consumers remain interested in cream’s superior taste and cooking functionality.