Retail sales of dairy products saw a healthy rise last year as a result of shoppers’ growing affluence, according to the Milk Development Council.

Market data from TNS Superpanel showed that milk, cheese, cream and butter saw slight increases in volumes sold in 2005, but yogurt sales raced ahead by more than 200m packs to 3.1bn.

The MDC has warned that a significant proportion of that 7% growth was being met by imports, however.

“It would be ideal if that growth in consumer demand was met by sales of UK products not imported ones, but realistically this is unlikely ever to happen completely,” said MDC economist, Ken Boyns.