The culture of cheese consumption is not well developed in Kazakhstan. Considered an expensive product, Kazakhstanis are not used to consuming cheese on a regular basis or with different meals.
The per capita consumption of cheese in Kazakhstan is relatively low. However, the rising interest in healthy lifestyles has seen some consumers shift towards natural and ecological products.
In Kazakhstan, cheese is mainly consumed as one ingredient of a sandwich, while the culture of consuming cheese with wine is very weak. In 2018, a wide range of brands offered cheese in pouch packaging, with each slice of cheese wrapped separately.
Cheese witnessed significant new product/packaging development in 2018. For instance, Président release blue-veined French cheese in composite containers with closures.
The marketing of cheese in Kazakhstan was very weak in 2018. There was very little advertising of cheese on television, the internet or social networks, and few special offers or promotions in retail stores.
While craft cheese is at an early stage of development in Kazakhstan, there has been a positive response from consumers. The number of domestic craft cheese manufacturers is rising, while some producers have opened specialist retail stores.
Fresh milk has developed alongside the health and wellness trend in Kazakhstan. With a short expiration date, fresh milk is considered a more natural and purer option.
In line with the healthy lifestyle trend, consumers pay increasing attention to ingredients and product positioning. Due to higher purchasing power and higher health consciousness, the demand for drinking milk products fortified with vitamins and minerals or with other components offering potential health benefits is highest in cities and large towns.
The traditional beverage in Kazakhstan is black tea with milk, which consumers drink throughout the day. The key feature of traditional Kazakh tea is the addition of full fat milk.
In 2018, Sapa (the National Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights) organised the examination of drinking milk products by brands available in retail stores in Kazakhstan. Sapa reported that the health claims and contents displayed on packaging by Shadrinskoe (Danone Berkut), Adal (Adal AO) and Odari (Agroprodukt Asia) were false.
There is strong competition in drinking milk products in Kazakhstan. Thus, players invest in promotions and advertising in order to differentiate brands and products and gain a competitive edge.
Kazakhstan has witnessed the emergence of milk alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut milk, goat milk and soy milk, since 2016. Such milk alternatives were considered niche and associated with premium prices.
Both yoghurt and sour milk products benefit significantly from the health and wellness trend in Kazakhstan. Health attributes have become a key factor in the purchasing decisions of consumers.
Consumers have started to give preference to brands of yoghurt and sour milk products that offer convenience in terms of consumption at home and on the go. Thus, convenience and portable packaging has become a key criterion.
Manufacturers of yoghurt started to focus consumers’ attention on mental health in 2018. The health and wellness trend contributes to the growing number of fortified yoghurt and sour milk products offering benefits for health.
Manufacturers of yoghurt and sour milk products communicate well with consumers in Kazakhstan. In 2018, companies concentrated on transparency of production.
The category witnesses regular new product development in Kazakhstan. Manufacturers offered new flavours and varieties of yoghurt and sour milk products in 2018.
In 2018, Danone Berkut promoted Rastishka in collaboration with the Shazam entertainment application. Using the app, children were encouraged to take photos featuring the packaging and create “selfies”.
In large urban areas, where consumers lead hectic lifestyles, there is a growing demand for on-the-go snacking products. This provides opportunities for manufacturers of chilled snacks and chilled and shelf stable desserts.
In line with the growing demand for convenience of consumption, Food Master presented curd in pouches with multiple closure effect under Président in 2017. Other curd manufacturers followed suit in 2018.
Glazirovanniy syrok, a popular and traditional type of chilled snack in Kazakhstan, usually has a cottage cheese texture and comes in a rectangular form coated in chocolate. The popularity of glazirovanniy syrok reflects a strong focus on children in chilled snacks.
“Other” dairy manufacturers tried to attract consumers through new product developments and launches in 2018. For instance, Sterilgarda Alimenti released Sterilgarda chilled desserts.
From early 2019, a new Eurasian Economic Union regulation is expected to impact product positioning and the performance of manufacturers. The regulation obliges manufacturers to state if a product contains a dairy fat substitute or vegetable oils.
There are significant barriers to local companies trying to compete with international companies. Domestic producers of “other” dairy face challenges in terms of the availability of local raw ingredients.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.