Dairy consumption in Western Europe is mature in comparison to other regions in the world, with high per capita consumption. The market has been in decline in the region over the past years, with changes in consumer diets impacting demand. The declining trend does not, however, mean that there are not growth possibilities in the region, as the market dynamic by country varies, as does the development by category, so spotting the right opportunities may still offer companies steady growth.
Western Europe is characterised by a strong dairy culture and high per capita consumption, particularly in core categories such as cheese, drinking milk products and yoghurt. However, there is still room for growth, as shifts between categories and premiumisation are still ongoing. Dairy products are a natural source of vitamin B and calcium, which could play as an advantage for manufacturers to better position their products and even compete with other on-the go snacking products if these are packed accordingly, increasing market diversification.
Whilst four of the top five dairy markets in Western Europe – Italy, the UK, France and Spain – saw a decline in dairy value sales in 2017, Germany registered growth, especially in cheese and other dairy. This growth in consumption can be explained by the current favourable German economic stability and its already established retailing environment, including discounters, which themselves are also positioning part of its brand spectrum with a higher added value.
Both in Italy and the UK, sales of cheese and drinking milk products have fallen, reflecting in part a consumer shift to non-dairy and lactose-free alternatives, whether for allergy and intolerance reasons or in order to enhance the digestion process. Many consumers are just decreasing their dairy consumption overall.
Discounters registered growth in share of distribution of dairy products in the UK, France and Ireland over 2012-2017, whilst internet retailing sales grew steadily throughout the region, but from a lower base. As internet retailing grows, new possibilities arise, even for smaller manufacturers, as these can benefit from a wider distribution chain, for example Amazon Fresh including local cheese manufacturers in its product range.
If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extract FREE! Home Page