The main Australian consumer dairy products are drinking milk, cheese, butter/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 in response to multicultural influences on food trends, health perceptions around dairy products, as well as flavour and packaging innovations.
Per capita consumption of drinking milk is currently estimated at 98.6 litres. This marks a small decline over recent years; however, consumption remains high compared to other developed countries. This is possibly thanks to the expansion of the ‘coffee culture’ in Australia and growth in flavoured milk products.
Cheese consumption has stabilised in recent years at around 13.5 kg per person. Whilst cheddar types remain the most popular variety of cheese, non-cheddar cheese varieties available in Australia have increased.
These varieties have grown in popularity due to increased demand for mozzarella cheese in foodservice, as well as growth in specialist cheese varieties.
Annual per capita consumption of butter in Australia is around 4.0 kg. Consumers are attracted to the natural characteristics of butter, along with its superior taste and cooking functionality. Findings in health and nutritional science have also led to a changing consumer perception of the health risks associated with saturated fats and butter. This has 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 9.5 kg per year. Per capita consumption of yoghurt has grown strongly over the last few years. A greater desire for more natural healthy products and 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 (ltrs)||Cheese (kg)||Butter/Blends (kg)||Yoghurt (kg)|
From 2014/15 Per capita consumption of yoghurt includes dairy snacks
Source: Dairy manufacturers and Dairy Australia