Average milk consumption in the US dropped eight percent from 22.4 gallons per person a year in 2000 to 20.6 gallons in 2009 and will continue to slide over the next decade, according to Tetra Pak’s Dairy Index report for 2011.
While Americans still consume far more dairy products than their Asian counterparts, notes the report: “One inescapable fact remains: per capita liquid dairy products consumption is expected to decrease in Western Europe and North America while rising everywhere else from 2010 to 2020”.
According to Tetra Pak, the average American will still be necking back almost twice the volume of liquid dairy products than the average Asian in 2020 (almost 80 liters a year compared with 45 liters).
However, per capita consumption of liquid dairy is likely to dip by around 3 percent in North America over the next decade, although overall consumption is expected to rise 14 percent from 35bn liters to 40bn liters.
By contrast, Asia-Pacific liquid dairy products consumption is expected to climb by almost 45% from 140bn liters to 200bn liters.
More value-added, individualized products
This will put pressure on US manufacturers to introduce more value-added products, predicts Tetra Pak.
“The opportunity is to offer more value-added, individualized products to an increasingly segmented market, from working mothers buying convenient liquid baby and toddler milk to retired baby boomers aiming to keep fit and healthy by buying sterol-enriched dairy to lower their cholesterol.
“Demand for lactose free milk, organic milk, fortified and functional milk is expected to grow with consumers increasingly pro-active in safeguarding their health, particularly in developed countries where fertility rates are falling and the percentage of the population over 60 is growing.”
Meanwhile, branded players needed to claw back the initiative from private label firms, says Sheniqua Little, Tetra Pak’s marketing manager for dairy and dairy alternatives in the US and Canada.
“Branded companies need to go beyond the logo on their milk: they need to add value – true nutritional benefits that private labels do not offer.”