Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

Information on per capita consumption of the major dairy products – butter and butter blends, milk, cheese, and yoghurt.

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, new product development, as well as flavour and packaging innovations.

Per capita consumption of drinking milk is currently estimated at 103 litres. It remains at high levels compared to other comparable, developed countries – thanks in part to the expansion of the ‘coffee culture’ in Australia during the last decade and growth in flavoured milk products.

Cheese consumption has stabilised in recent years at around 13.5 kg per person, as has the split between cheddar and non-cheddar varieties. Whilst cheddar types remain the most popular variety of cheese, non-cheddar cheese varieties available in Australia have increased in popularity, due to factors such as demand for mozzarella cheese in food-service, as well as growth in specialist cheese varieties.

Annual per capita consumption of butter in Australia is around 4.8 kg. Consumers are attracted to the natural characteristics of butter, along with its superior taste and cooking functionality. Recent findings in health and nutritional science have also led to a changing consumer perception of the health risks associated with saturated fats and butter in particular, which has also been important in underpinning sales volumes of the category.

Yoghurt is a healthy snack for consumers, combining both convenience and health attributes, with per capita consumption of 7.0 kg per year. In recent years, a greater desire for more natural healthy products and an increased awareness around the health risks of sugar has seen consumers transition away from sweetened and flavoured yoghurt varieties towards Greek and natural style yoghurts.

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

  Milk (l) Cheese (kg) Butter/Blends (kg) Yoghurt (kg)
2012/13 (r)  106.6 12.5
3.7 7.4
2013/14 (r)
 105.7 
12.2 
4.0 
7.4
2014/15 (r)
105.1 13.4 4.3 
7.2
2015/16 (r)
 104.9 13.0 
4.9 7.1
2016/17 (p)   102.7  13.4  4.8  7.0 

 Source: Dairy manufacturers and Dairy Australia

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