Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 sales of dairy products and alternatives have remained stable since 2020. However, the industry is now being impacted by the rising cost of raw materials and imports in 2022.
Since August 2021, powder milk has become extremely scarce in Sri Lanka, therefore, while many consumers opted for fresh milk or stopped drinking milk altogether, others have found creative ways to purchase milk powder such as buying from abroad. Meanwhile, despite Sri Lanka having a monthly milk powder requirement of about 7,000 metric tons, currently, less than half of this is being supplied during this period.
Sri Lankan people generally eat three main meals per day. Breakfasts are often fairly simple due to time constraints and are often eaten on-the-go, with consumer foodservice thus attracting many people.
Sri Lanka's population is seeing only slow growth, while it also continues to age rapidly. The country's median age is 34-years-old, which is among the highest median age rates in South Asia.
The retail channel accounts for a significantly larger share of sales within dairy products and alternatives than the foodservice channel, with powder milk, liquid milk and butter being the key product categories used in foodservice. Cream and cheese have limited penetration in foodservice channels catering to upper to mid SEC consumers.
Dairy products fall under the 367 non-essential items the government of Sri Lanka has restricted importation for a limited period in order to properly manage the current economic crisis in the country. Thus the shortages in dairy products like milk powder can be expected to continue for the immediate future.
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Dairy Products and Alternatives
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