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.
Yoghurts have been a category of considerable growth for the dairy industry over the past two decades, due to their ability to meet consumer requirements for convenient, healthy snacks in an environment of time-poor lifestyles. The segment includes strong international brands, such as Ski, Yoplait and Nestlé. There is an ongoing trend within the yoghurt category, away from sweetened and flavoured varieties towards more traditional, unflavoured varieties of yoghurt, such as Greek-style yoghurts, which are perceived to be healthier and more ‘natural’. Sales of these unflavoured, traditional varieties have overtaken those of sweetened and flavoured yoghurts, and now account for more than 50% of the market.
Growth in yoghurt sales has been underpinned by regular product innovation in the areas of packaging, flavour combinations and the use of probiotic cultures, as well as new products, such as drinking yoghurts and single snack servings in convenience outlets.
Dairy desserts are a low volume/high value dairy category with steadily declining volumes in recent years. Marketed as an indulgence or treat item, these products are generally targeted to adult consumers and include mousses, crème caramels and fromage frais. 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 declines in recent years despite manufacturers expanding their product offerings into small, snack-sized, single-serve plastic cups sold in multi-packs.
Cream is an important fresh dairy product. Regular and sour creams are both used extensively as accompaniments or ingredients. Like butter, consumers remain interested in cream’s superior taste and cooking functionality.