Market report: Low-fat milk doubles market share

Low-fat milk (1% fat) has doubled its market share over the past year, according to Kantar Worldpanel figures published by DairyCo.

Some 311m litres of low-fat milk were sold in the 52-week period ended 8 August 2010, up from 166m litres the previous year.

The category, which sits between skimmed and semi-skimmed milk in terms of fat content, accounted for 6.6% of the retail market – up from 3.2%. Market share was gained at the expense of the other three milk categories (whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed).

The increase reduced the amount of butterfat required for the retail liquid milk market from an average of 1.85% in August 2009 to 1.82% last month, meaning an additional 4000t of cream would have to be made by milk processors, DairyCo said.

“This represents only 1.6% of the UK production and would therefore have only a minor impact on the market for bulk cream. The change in the butterfat percentage at the farmgate level, of which the annual rolling average fell by 0.07% to 3.97% between the August 09 and August 10, would have had a greater impact.”

At the start of 2010 the Food Standards Agency launched a campaign to get people to switch to 1% fat milk to reduce their saturated fat intake. The agency’s UK-wide survey of consumer attitudes to 1% fat milk found that three-quarters of consumers liked the taste as much as semi-skimmed.