Executive Summary

Aug 2019
Prospects
Innovation remains key to driving sales in this mature category

In 2019, cheese in Finland suffered a further modest decline in retail volume terms, while posting positive but weak growth in current value terms, albeit an improvement on the contractions registered the previous two years. The main challenge for cheese manufacturers in Finland is the category’s maturity.

Finns are demanding healthier cheeses

Health and wellness remained a growing area in cheese in 2019, as in other packaged food categories. Demand for reduced salt cheese is increasing, largely thanks to the efforts of domestic dairy giant Valio, which has developed Valio ValSa, a reduced sodium milk salt innovation.

Cooking with cheese is becoming more popular

Cheese eating habits have continued to change in Finland. While previously cheese was seen mainly as a topping for bread, it is now increasingly being eaten as a snack and used as a cooking ingredient.

Competitive Landscape
Valio maintains its leading position but facing increasing competition from private label players and smaller manufacturers

The domestic dairy giant Valio remained the clear leader in cheese in 2019, accounting for around one third of overall value sales thanks to a wide range of products and an ongoing focus on catering for changing consumer demands and tastes. Although the company’s performance in 2019 was generally in line with that of the wider cheese category, it was however outperformed by various other manufacturers, including private label and smaller players.

Manufacturers seek to offer a wider range of flavours to maintain consumer interest

Manufacturers have continued to focus on offering Finnish consumers a wider range of cheese flavours in order to maintain their interest in the category and help drive value sales. New launches from Valio have included Valio Jalapeno Jaakko slices and Valio Pippuri Pekka sliced cheese with pepper, while the small domestic manufacturer Jukkola Food has launched Jukkolan Mustajussi, an artisanal soft cheese with black pepper.

Advertising and the telling of a story remain key to supporting sales

Manufacturers also continued to invest in marketing and advertising in 2019 in an effort to support their brands and drive sales in a mature category. Valio, for instance, advertised its Oltermanni Port Salut cheese on YouTube as having been made in a French style but to fit the taste preferences of Finnish consumers.

Prospects
Maturity and changing consumer habits the main challenges facing manufacturers over the forecast period

In 2019, drinking milk products posted a further modest decline in retail volume sales, while value sales only rose slightly in current terms. This performance can be attributed to the fact that drinking milk products is a very mature category in Finland, with growth opportunities remaining limited for manufacturers.

Health and wellness trend remains strong in drinking milk products

As in other dairy categories, health and wellness remained a prominent trend in drinking milk products in 2019. Indeed, organic milk is the best-selling organic food product in Finland.

Finnish consumers maintain a preference for products with domestic origins

Domestic origins remained very important to consumers of drinking milk products in 2019. For example, the domestic dairy cooperative Valio, which is owned by Finnish farmers, has used several strategies in this regard, such as emphasising that it produces the EU’s cleanest milk, which is free from GMOs as its dairy cows are the healthiest in Europe.

Competitive Landscape
Arla and Valio lead a hugely competitive category

Drinking milk products remained a very competitive category in 2019, with several manufacturers and retailers commanding a significant share of value sales. Indeed, the category has witnessed a price war in recent years, with the aftermath of this still rumbling on.

Milk alternatives remains a bright spot with further strong growth potential

Milk alternatives remained by far the best performing category in drinking milk products in 2019, registering strong double-digit retail volume and current value growth, albeit from a low base. The category is benefiting from increasing health awareness and a strong focus on new product development.

Manufacturers tackle the environmental impact of their production

Environmental impact, product safety, transparency and animal wellbeing are all issues which are being looked at by manufacturers. At the end of 2017, Valio became the first company in the world to use innovative 100% plant-based gable top cartons for its organic milk, with its aim being that by the end of 2018 all of its drinking milk packaging will be made from plant-based materials, including the screw cap.

Prospects
Manufacturers seek growth opportunities in a mature category

In 2019, yoghurt and sour milk products in Finland suffered a further slight decline in retail volume sales while value sales in current terms remained flat. This performance can largely be attributed to the maturity of the category, with stronger growth rates hard to achieve.

Lactose-free yoghurt continues to grow in popularity

Many of the new yoghurts launched in 2018 and 2019 were lactose-free. For example, Valio introduced Valio Lempeä plain yoghurt, which is positioned as similar to Turkish and Greek yoghurt but has a less acidic taste and is free from lactose.

The war on sugar wages on

The review period saw the leading manufacturers, particularly Valio and Arla, significantly reduce the sugar content of their yoghurts, with 2018 witnessing the launch of new products with no added white sugar or sweeteners. Valio, for example, released three lactose-free Valio ProFeel protein yoghurts in cranberry-granola, apricot-raspberry and blueberry-vanilla flavours.

Competitive Landscape
Valio maintains its clear lead in yoghurt and sour milk products thanks to an ongoing focus on innovation

Despite being a hugely competitive category, the domestic dairy giant Valio remained the clear leader in yoghurt and sour milk products in 2019, generally maintaining its share of value sales. The company’s position can be attributed to its ongoing focus on innovation and new product development as well as reducing the environmental impact of its business as it seeks to cater for and address consumers’ changing demands and increasing concerns.

Manufacturers seek profitable new niches in a hugely competitive category

Competition in yoghurt and sour milk products in Finland is fierce, largely as a result of a very wide choice of products. As a result, it is difficult to for smaller players to gain share and challenge the leading companies such as Valio.

Environmentally-friendly packaging growing in importance

With increasing concerns about climate change and the impact of food production on the environment, manufacturers in Finland are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint and make their products and packaging more environmentally-friendly. For example, Valio became the first company in the world to use innovative 100% plant-based gable top cartons for its dairy products, while Ålandsmejeriet launched new more environmentally-friendly recycled carton packaging for its sour cream and crème fraiche in 2019, the use of which may well be extended into other dairy categories.

Prospects
Manufacturers seek ways to offset category maturity and drive value sales as volume growth remains sluggish

In 2019, other dairy in Finland continued to record only modest retail volume growth, primarily as a result of category maturity. Value sales growth, however, was stronger as manufacturers continued to seek ways to offset this maturity, for example through a strong focus on developing new products which are lactose-free, organic, sugar-free, high in protein or provide new flavour combinations or textures.

Protein boom still going strong in Finland

The protein boom in Finland continued to remain strong in 2019. This was supported by an ongoing manufacturer focus on new product development and more exercise enthusiasts and health-conscious millennials adopting a high-protein diet, with this in particular helping to boost sales of quark.

Players seek to meet consumer demand for convenience

In addition to demanding healthier other dairy offerings, Finnish consumers are also seeking greater convenience from the products they buy. Making cooking easier, for example through the provision of flavoured creams, has enabled busy consumers to save time, with preparing meals at home remaining a popular activity.

Competitive Landscape
Valio maintains its leading position thanks to strong new product development activities but continues to face increasing competition

In 2019, the domestic dairy giant Valio remained the clear leader in other dairy, accounting for around a third of overall value sales. The company continued to slowly grow its value share thanks to an ongoing focus on new product development as well as heavy investment in marketing and promotional activities.

Other dairy witnesses the launch of more lactose-free options

2018 saw manufacturers launch new lactose-free other dairy products, with this continuing in 2019. While in 2018 Valio expanded its organic range with Valio Luomu Raejuusto cottage cheese, marketing this as the only domestic organic and lactose-free cottage cheese, it also relaunched its Fanny dairy dessert brand but as a lactose-free product.

Advertising remains focused on health and wellness messages

In 2019, other dairy manufacturers continued to invest in marketing and advertising, with their campaigns highlighting the health and wellness attributes of their products. In its humorous television commercials, Arla continued to point out that its Arla Lempi Ruokakerma cooking cream contains fewer additives than other creams, with the company seeking to appeal to Finnish consumers’ rising demand for cleaner ingredients.

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Dairy in Finland

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Overview

Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Dairy industry in Finland with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.

Find hidden opportunities in the most current research data available, understand competitive threats with our detailed market analysis, and plan your corporate strategy with our expert qualitative analysis and growth projections.

If you're in the Dairy industry in Finland, our research will save you time and money while empowering you to make informed, profitable decisions.

The Dairy in Finland market research report includes:

  • Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
  • Detailed segmentation of international and local products
  • Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
  • Five year forecasts of market trends and market growth  
  • Robust and transparent market research methodology, conducted in-country

Our market research reports answer questions such as:

  • What is the market size of Dairy in Finland?
  • What are the major brands in Finland?
  • How has the economic downturn impacted sales performance given its staple food status?
  • Given mounting obesity concerns, are consumers moving from full-fat to reduced fat/fat-free offerings?
  • How are volatile farmgate prices for milk impacting retail prices and sales performance?

Why buy this report?

  • Gain competitive intelligence about market leaders
  • Track key industry trends, opportunities and threats
  • Inform your marketing, brand, strategy and market development, sales and supply functions

This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.

Dairy in Finland - Category analysis

Butter and Spreads

HEADLINES

PROSPECTS

Innovation remains important in such a mature category
Health and wellness trend remains strong in butter and spreads
Rapeseed considered a local superfood

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Valio and Unilever Finland together continue to dominate butter and spreads but find it difficult to gain further share
New product development dominated by free from, naturally healthy and fortified/functional products
Manufacturers increasingly focus on digital marketing

CATEGORY DATA

Table 1 Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 2 Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 3 Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 4 Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 5 NBO Company Shares of Butter and Spreads: % Value 2015-2019
Table 6 LBN Brand Shares of Butter and Spreads: % Value 2016-2019
Table 7 Distribution of Butter and Spreads by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 8 Forecast Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 9 Forecast Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 10 Forecast Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 11 Forecast Sales of Butter and Spreads by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

Cheese

HEADLINES

PROSPECTS

Innovation remains key to driving sales in this mature category
Finns are demanding healthier cheeses
Cooking with cheese is becoming more popular

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Valio maintains its leading position but facing increasing competition from private label players and smaller manufacturers
Manufacturers seek to offer a wider range of flavours to maintain consumer interest
Advertising and the telling of a story remain key to supporting sales

CATEGORY DATA

Table 12 Sales of Cheese by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 13 Sales of Cheese by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 14 Sales of Cheese by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 15 Sales of Cheese by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 16 Sales of Spreadable Processed Cheese by Type: % Value 2014-2019
Table 17 Sales of Unprocessed Cheese by Type: % Value 2014-2019
Table 18 NBO Company Shares of Cheese: % Value 2015-2019
Table 19 LBN Brand Shares of Cheese: % Value 2016-2019
Table 20 Distribution of Cheese by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 21 Forecast Sales of Cheese by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 22 Forecast Sales of Cheese by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 23 Forecast Sales of Cheese by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 24 Forecast Sales of Cheese by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

Drinking Milk Products

HEADLINES

PROSPECTS

Maturity and changing consumer habits the main challenges facing manufacturers over the forecast period
Health and wellness trend remains strong in drinking milk products
Finnish consumers maintain a preference for products with domestic origins

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Arla and Valio lead a hugely competitive category
Milk alternatives remains a bright spot with further strong growth potential
Manufacturers tackle the environmental impact of their production

CATEGORY DATA

Table 25 Sales of Drinking Milk Products by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 26 Sales of Drinking Milk Products by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 27 Sales of Drinking Milk Products by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 28 Sales of Drinking Milk Products by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 29 NBO Company Shares of Drinking Milk Products: % Value 2015-2019
Table 30 LBN Brand Shares of Drinking Milk Products: % Value 2016-2019
Table 31 Distribution of Drinking Milk Products by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 32 Forecast Sales of Drinking Milk Products Products by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 33 Forecast Sales of Drinking Milk Products Products by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 34 Forecast Sales of Drinking Milk Products Products by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 35 Forecast Sales of Drinking Milk Products Products by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

Other Dairy

HEADLINES

PROSPECTS

Manufacturers seek ways to offset category maturity and drive value sales as volume growth remains sluggish
Protein boom still going strong in Finland
Players seek to meet consumer demand for convenience

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Valio maintains its leading position thanks to strong new product development activities but continues to face increasing competition
Other dairy witnesses the launch of more lactose-free options
Advertising remains focused on health and wellness messages

CATEGORY DATA

Table 36 Sales of Other Dairy by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 37 Sales of Other Dairy by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 38 Sales of Other Dairy by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 39 Sales of Other Dairy by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 40 Sales of Cream by Type: % Value 2014-2019
Table 41 NBO Company Shares of Other Dairy: % Value 2015-2019
Table 42 LBN Brand Shares of Other Dairy: % Value 2016-2019
Table 43 Distribution of Other Dairy by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 44 Forecast Sales of Other Dairy by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 45 Forecast Sales of Other Dairy by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 46 Forecast Sales of Other Dairy by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 47 Forecast Sales of Other Dairy by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products

HEADLINES

PROSPECTS

Manufacturers seek growth opportunities in a mature category
Lactose-free yoghurt continues to grow in popularity
The war on sugar wages on

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Valio maintains its clear lead in yoghurt and sour milk products thanks to an ongoing focus on innovation
Manufacturers seek profitable new niches in a hugely competitive category
Environmentally-friendly packaging growing in importance

CATEGORY DATA

Table 48 Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 49 Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 50 Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 51 Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 52 Sales of Flavoured Yoghurt by Flavour: Rankings 2014-2019
Table 53 NBO Company Shares of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products: % Value 2015-2019
Table 54 LBN Brand Shares of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products: % Value 2016-2019
Table 55 Distribution of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 56 Forecast Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 57 Forecast Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 58 Forecast Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 59 Forecast Sales of Yoghurt and Sour Milk Products by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

Packaged Food in Finland - Industry Overview

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Sales boom for packaged food however volume growth continues to be a struggle
Competitors stood out by using authentic flavours, domestic ingredients and innovation
In a competitive landscape, players focus on innovation and fulfilling consumer demands 
Hypermarkets gain success at the expense of smaller grocery retailers
Players will focus on eco-credentials, health and wellness and innovation to cut-through competition 

FOODSERVICE

Sales to Foodservice
Growth is stable as increased purchasing power allows Fins to eat out more often
Taste matters, but so does ethical and social responsibilities 
Free-from products are on the rise as foodservice responds to consumer demand
Consumer Foodservice
Foodservice operators adopt new strategies to compete
Foodservice operators increasingly favour locally sourced ingredients
Fast food sees a positive performance and is set to continue growing over the forecast period 
Category Data
Table 60 Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 61 Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 62 Forecast Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 63 Forecast Foodservice Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024

MARKET DATA

Table 64 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2014-2019
Table 65 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Value 2014-2019
Table 66 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2014-2019
Table 67 Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Value Growth 2014-2019
Table 68 GBO Company Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2015-2019
Table 69 NBO Company Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2015-2019
Table 70 LBN Brand Shares of Packaged Food: % Value 2016-2019
Table 71 Penetration of Private Label by Category: % Value 2014-2019
Table 72 Distribution of Packaged Food by Format: % Value 2014-2019
Table 73 Distribution of Packaged Food by Format and Category: % Value 2019
Table 74 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Volume 2019-2024
Table 75 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: Value 2019-2024
Table 76 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Volume Growth 2019-2024
Table 77 Forecast Sales of Packaged Food by Category: % Value Growth 2019-2024

SOURCES

Summary 1 Research Sources