August 8, 2011
Australia's UHT milk sales increase
Australia's UHT milk sales are rising and currently make up almost 10% of total milk sales in spite of the supermarket heavyweight's price conflict on fresh milk.
However, statistics from Dairy Australia show that most Australians still prefer fresh milk on their cereal.
UHT milk sales increased 8% from 195 million litres to 211 million litres in 2009/10 over the year before, accounting for 9.3% of total milk sales for the same period.
Associate Professor Frank Zumbo of the University of NSW, said the rise of UHT milk sales was currently not a threat to the big supermarkets as the long life product was low maintenance and did not require refrigeration costs.
"If the trend continued, it would be troubling, but at the moment it is clear consumers have a strong preference for fresh milk," he said.
The number was off a low base, where UHT had traditionally had a very low percentage of the market, he said on Friday (Aug 5).
"But we are seeing the owners of UHT brands trying to lift their profile through increased advertising."
A survey of 2,500 milk drinkers by consumer research centre Canstar Blue found that out of all Australians who had purchased milk in the past six months, those drinking Devondale UHT milk said they were happier than consumers of other brands, based on overall satisfaction, taste, health benefits and packaging.
Canstar Blue manager Rebecca Logan said the results were surprising, given the attractive prices offered by major supermarkets on fresh milk.
"There is no doubt long life milk has come a long way over the years and consumers are responding to its convenience and long shelf life," Logan said on Friday.
The average Australian drinks 102 litres of milk a year, according to Australian Dairy Farmers.