Steady growth continues in cheese sales as the Dominican Republic is a major market for cheese. There are over 400 small and medium-sized companies dedicated primarily to making cheese.
Extreme drought has affected the country since 2018, with conditions worsening in 2019. The ongoing severe weather conditions are having a negative impact on dairy cattle and milk production, as a result of a curtailment of water consumption and prohibitions on various types of planting.
Imported cheeses are already seeing growth in the Dominican Republic. Although consumers are accustomed to local cheeses, imported cheeses (both hard and soft) have achieved favourable sales growth as prices have become more competitive.
Sosua, the flagship brand of Sigma Alimentos Dominicana SA, retained its leading value share of cheese in 2019, bolstered by its strong sales of cheddar over the review period. The brand enjoys an extensive distribution network and broad coverage throughout the Dominican Republic.
Cheese in the Dominican Republic remains fragmented. While sales are dominated by locally-produced brands, the presence of a high number of brands makes the competitive landscape highly fragmented.
Imported cheese offerings are growing in the Dominican Republic but also remain fragmented. Some local firms manufacture and distribute cheese, but also import certain brands for distribution.
Over the review period, there was much dynamism in liquid milk as Dominicans increasingly opted for the convenience of liquid milk rather than purchasing powder milk, as they did historically. This was partly thanks to rising purchasing power as a result of strong economic growth in the country.
Powder milk is still losing consumers as Dominicans continue to migrate towards liquid milk, notably full fat shelf stable milk which dominates sales. Traditional levels of powder milk consumption are a thing of the past as consumers favour more convenient RTD options, frequently in 1-litre aseptic packaging or smaller individual portions of 200ml which are mainly aimed towards children.
The Dominican Republic experienced extreme drought in 2018 and conditions deteriorated at the beginning of 2019. The situation has been dire in several parts of the country and has approached crisis level in some areas.
Pasteurizadora Rica SA continued to lead drinking milk products in 2019 as a result of its strong distribution network throughout the Dominican Republic. The company has led liquid milk for many years and is benefiting further from consumers increasingly shifting towards liquid milk from powder milk.
Despite Pasteurizadora Rica maintaining its dominant position in milk, there remains room for more players to enter. During the latter part of 2018, La Fabril SA launched Kanny Liquida.
Another interesting development was the launch of Monte Leche in late 2018. This is a brand of shelf stable milk produced by AGAMPTA, a dairy producers association from the province of Monte Plata.
In 2019, further growth was seen in sales of yoghurt in the Dominican Republic as many options and new brands and products attracted greater numbers of new consumers. Adult consumers, in particular, have been attracted by the widening offer of new yoghurt textures and consistencies.
Drinking yoghurt continues to dominate overall sales of yoghurt in the Dominican Republic. It is preferred over traditional spoonable yoghurt, despite the boom in Greek yoghurt and the introduction of new brands and formats, as local consumers appreciate its convenience.
Sales of yoghurt are expected to continue seeing growth over the forecast period as new products make their way into additional distribution channels, such as independent small grocers. Locally-produced yoghurts are expected to continue dominating overall sales over the forecast period.
Induveca SA continues to lead yoghurt sales with its popular Yoka brand. Yoka is a well-established brand supported by an extensive distribution network in the Dominican Republic.
Yoghurt in the Dominican Republic is still dominated by just a few key players, notably Induveca SA and Sigma Alimentos Dominicana SA. Other players include Agroindustrial Los Angeles SRL with the Elite brand and Grupo San Juan SAS with San Juan.
Some international brands are present in yoghurt in the Dominican Republic, such as La Yogurt, but they have a relatively small value share compared to that held by domestic brands. Nevertheless, Dos Pinos from Costa Rica is a brand to watch over the forecast period.
Condensed milk remains the biggest category within other dairy in the Dominican Republic. The product is widely consumed by all socioeconomic groups and is available in many distribution channels throughout the country.
Cream, which is the second biggest category within other dairy, continues to achieve steady growth in the Dominican Republic. It is a valued dairy product, used by many consumers in the preparation of different savoury and sweet dishes, including sauces, soups, desserts, and sweetened beverages.
Chilled and shelf stable desserts also continued to see growth in 2019, contributing to the overall growth of other dairy in the Dominican Republic. Pudding cups and chilled individual dairy desserts continue to see growth, in both retail and foodservice channels, as consumers favour smaller-sized indulgences.
Nestlé Dominicana SA continues to dominate other dairy in the Dominican Republic with its flagship brand, Carnation, in condensed milk. Plain condensed milk is the most popular variety but sweetened condensed milk, lactose-free and light plain condensed milks are also available, along with a cheese-flavoured option.
Pasteurizadora Rica SA, in second place, remains strong in other dairy, bolstered by steadily increasing sales of condensed milk and cream, the latter of which it dominates in the Dominican Republic. Pasteurizadora Rica is the largest milk processor in the country and benefits from an extensive distribution network.
Private label remains present in other dairy, especially in coffee whiteners and cream, but faces strong competition from both local and imported brands. Private label, which is also seen in evaporated milk and some condensed milk, is limited to select modern grocers which have the resources available to support these lines.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.