Liquid milk sales increased by 31m litres in the year to 4 October, with retail sales continuing to rise at the expense of doorstep deliveries.

TNS data showed that liquid milk sales rose by 0.6% over the past year, to 5bn litres, about 94% of which was sold through retail outlets. Doorstep deliveries accounted for just 302m litres – a decline of 8.6% over the year.

Sales of sterilised milk showed the strongest growth, albeit from a relatively low base, rising by 15.8% to 34m litres, said DairyCo. “And despite the premium price that filtered milk commands over conventional pasteurised milk, sales have increased by 6%, to 299m litres. This would imply that even in a recession, consumers are willing to pay more for a product with a longer shelf life.”

Organic milk sales continued to ease, by 1.5% to 167m litres, while Jersey and Guernsey milk sales grew by 3.9% to 8m litres. Modified milk showed the biggest drop, down by 54.8% to 5.6m litres, while soya milk fell by 6.7% to 75m litres.