Increasing population and the poor cold-chain infrastructure in developing countries are driving the global UHT milk market. European countries have been among the largest UHT milk markets due to their less frequent shopping habits, as UHT milk can be stored for longer periods. Also, Asian countries, especially China, with its fast-growing population and increasing urbanization are high-growth UHT milk markets.
Despite the poor cold chain infrastructure in China, UHT milk consumption in the country is around 70% of the total milk consumption, which brings in more opportunities for the growth of UHT milk. Australia is also witnessing a growth in this market. New dietary trends are giving the UHT milk market a new dimension for growth. The industry has good prospects in school milk programs run by several governments, sportspersons who take UHT milk to the field, and office-goers who consume milk on the go.
The South African UHT milk market is mainly driven by its increasing acceptability among all classes and the ability of companies to maintain stable retail prices. UHT milk companies distribute their products through large (such as supermarkets and hypermarkets) and small retail formats (such as convenience stores and independent retailers), where the former generate bigger volume sales. The school feeding program has been emerging as one of the key areas for the UHT milk market due to the increasing number of children and schools opting for it.
The increasing powdered milk market in the country has been a major challenge for the UHT milk market here, which can be a potential threat in future. High growth rate makes the UHT milk market one of the most attractive industries for new companies in South Africa; however, the lack of capital and expertise makes their entry tough. Rivalry in the industry is extremely high due to the presence of large number of players and private label brands.
The unorganized raw milk market in developing countries is one of the restraints for the UHT milk market, as raw milk is preferred by consumers due to their perception of its high nutritional value and freshness. The market is highly concentrated at the top. However, it is characterized by the presence of large numbers of private label brands offered under the branding of retail stores.
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