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, the yoghurt category has grown considerably. This is a result of the category’s 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 types of yoghurt, such as Greek-style yoghurt. These unflavoured varieties are perceived to be healthier and more ‘natural’ and attractive to health-conscious consumers. Yoghurt sales of the unflavoured, traditional types have overtaken those of sweetened and flavoured yoghurts, and account for more than 50% of the market.
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/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 declines in recent years despite manufacturers expanding their product offerings into small, snack-sized, single-serve plastic cups sold in multi-packs.
Cream sales have increased in recent years. Cream is an important fresh dairy product and widely used in cooking. Regular and sour creams are both used extensively as accompaniments or ingredients. Nevertheless, like butter, consumers remain interested in cream’s superior taste and cooking functionality.