Despite the fact that local farmers have been complaining and warning about their intolerable situation, the situation is not improving. Over the past two decades the number of domestic dairy farmers has fallen from about 50,000 to just about 5,000 in 2018, while the production of raw milk has almost been halved.
A significant shift in consumer preferences was observed over the review period: with the advance of microfiltered variants of fresh milk, consumers embraced the new format, which recorded extraordinary growth and is increasingly replacing shelf stable milk. As the new technology has extended the shelf life of fresh milk to almost three weeks, consumers are now more prone to use this type of milk.
In spite of the global trends, milk alternatives have not been particularly successful in Croatia. Unless there is a clear reason, non-dairy milk alternatives are rarely used, with the prevalent reason to use non-dairy milk products being lactose intolerance.
The domestic player, Dukat, is in such a favourable position that it can allow itself to dictate trends and set up terms for negotiating with milk suppliers. Despite fierce pricing wars, brand loyalty remains high in milk, and the major producers can rely on their consumer base.
Dukat’s main competitor, Vindija, represents a particularly interesting case in Croatia: the company relies traditionally on the quality of its products and has completely withdrawn from electronic media and only implements advertising in the printed press. Apparently, the quality of the product is well appreciated and helps the player to maintain its ranking.
Traditionally, in Croatia, bread and milk are the most socially sensitive categories and the government is ready to intervene in any possible way to ensure that both are sold at reasonable prices. After Croatia joined the European Union its options became rather limited.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.