While the smaller categories of condensed milk and chilled dairy desserts continued to post strong retail volume declines in 2019, chilled snacks recorded a marginal recovery at the end of the review period, experiencing stable demand following declines in 2017 and 2018. 2017 witnessed a massive rise in the average unit price as several of the largest producers reorganised their portfolios to include more expensive products which significantly raised the unit price.
Demand for cream continued to decline in Lithuania in 2019, but recorded positive current value growth, supported by ongoing price increases. Cream continued to suffer on the one hand from growing competition for low fat varieties from plain yoghurt, with the latter continuing to benefit from the rising health and wellness trend in the country, while on the other hand, sales of high fat content cream, of at least 30%, continued to support value growth due to its higher price.
Fromage frais and quark continued to record a stable but unimpressive retail volume performance in 2019, with the plain format dominating sales appreciated as a healthy snack and heavily used in local cuisine, although higher growth continued to be recorded by the flavoured format. The category benefits from the strong presence of various products, curd cheese, a curd-based spreadable format, plain, creamy texture, cottage cheese style, and flavoured, in addition to different fat percentages and has a wide range of applications, such as being eaten at breakfast or supper or used as a cooking ingredient.
Other dairy continued to be heavily dominated by local manufacturers due to the wide presence of fresh dairy products in the category. Local consumers prefer to purchase fresh cream, chilled snacks and fromage frais and quark produced by local dairies, with Pieno Zvaigzdes AB, Rokiskio Pienas UAB and Žemaitijos Pienas AB retaining their leading positions, as they do in other dairy-related categories.
With chilled snacks making a marginal recovery in 2019, major players Pieno Zvaigzdes AB and Žemaitijos Pienas AB recorded the strongest performances, gaining further value share. This was due to adopting different strategies to address the declining demand over the review period with Pieno Zvaigzdes concentrating on offering sophistication and premiumisation by using high-quality in its products such as Belgian chocolate, reinforcing the image of chilled snacks as an indulgent dessert.
Private label recorded its strongest performance within fromage frais and quark, and cream, gaining high value share in both. However, it is most visible in the latter, with Farm Milk from Maxima, and Norfos N Grietine from Norfos Mažmena UAB recording high current value growth and continuing to compete with local brands gaining further share.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.