Lactose-free, ultrapasteurised dairy set to boom in China

Monday, 30 June, 2014

Despite dairy not traditionally being part of the Chinese diet, China is projected to become the world’s largest dairy market in the world by 2018, worth $60,639 million, according to a new report from Canadean.

The change in dairy consumption is due in part to increasing numbers of fast-food outlets, experience of global cuisines and media coverage of western tastes, Canadean says. Consumption of milk and cereals for breakfast and cheese in pizza and burgers is becoming more widespread.

Lactose-free and low-lactose products are predicted to take off, according to Canadean, due to lactose intolerance being widespread in Asia.

Another area for growth is in China’s ageing population. Consumers aged 55+ are beginning to turn to dairy with higher protein or calcium content to prevent gut and bone diseases. However, the health benefits of dairy are still not widely known in China.

“Knowledge of osteoporosis is limited, which means brands need to educate consumers about dairy’s role in aiding bone health via packaging, advertising and awareness campaigns,” said Veronika Zhupanova.

Products imported from certain areas - such as Australia and Europe - have a higher level of trust among Chinese consumers. While dairy manufacturers may be enjoying this reputation now, Canadean warns that manufacturers should not rest on their laurels.

“In the near future, foreign manufacturers need to adjust their strategies to target the unique features of the Chinese market,” said Zhupanova.

“For instance, a significant proportion of Chinese households still do not have a refrigerator, which is driving the importance of ultrapasteurised dairy products.”

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