New research shows the world’s top milk brands are being replaced by cheaper alternatives
Dairy products are in the headlines again after a new study found some of the world ‘big four’ dairy brands were replacing cheaper alternatives with cheaper alternatives.
Key points: Dairy producers say prices have risen to an unsustainable level – and they need to do more to compete with cheaper, less processed alternatives The researchers say the problem is getting worse as people switch to cheaper dairy alternatives for comfort and qualityA report from the US-based market research firm Nielsen found that consumers were paying twice as much for milk as they did for cheese and beef, even though those foods were cheaper in the US.
The dairy industry says the problem was getting worse and needed to do a lot more to be competitive with cheaper processed alternatives.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, come as US farmers push ahead with plans to expand their operations in the world dairy market.
It found that the price of a cow’s milk dropped by 25 per cent in the last five years while it jumped by 60 per cent for other dairy products.
In Australia, prices have shot up by over 30 per cent from their lows in 2015, the report found.
There are also signs that dairy farmers in the United States are seeing the price hikes in the dairy market as they try to expand into the United Kingdom.
In the UK, the industry has been facing pressure to find new markets and more efficient ways of growing the industry, and is now working on a deal with the Government to buy some of its existing farms.
But there are also indications that the industry is looking at alternatives such as soybeans and corn as well as dairy.
The report found that dairy products are becoming increasingly unaffordable, particularly in the developed world, with milk prices up 30 per in five years.
It said milk prices have increased by over 50 per cent since 2015, while cheese prices have dropped by more than 60 per in the same period.
But the milk industry is worried that prices for cheese, which is more expensive than milk, are not sustainable and are on track to hit a new record.
This is especially true as consumers increasingly switch to milk alternatives for convenience, and have been for a long time,” Nielsen chief executive Rob Mascia said.”
There is a strong argument that if consumers don’t get the right milk, they won’t buy cheese and they won�t buy beef.
“He said that while the dairy industry would need to find cheaper alternatives for consumers, it was not necessarily in a position to switch to any of them at the moment.”
In order to be profitable, dairy producers will need to continue to invest in equipment and processes that will enable them to make milk that is more affordable and produce it in more efficient quantities,” Mr Mascio said.
The research was conducted by Nielsen on behalf of the US Department of Agriculture.”
We are working with our international dairy producers to identify opportunities and opportunities to improve their milk production to achieve sustainable milk prices,” a spokesperson for the department said.