72 per cent of Asia believes dairy is an important part of a balanced diet


On the eve of the 13th Annual World Milk Day new consumer research has revealed that 72 per cent of people in Asia see dairy as an important part of a balanced diet.

However, the research also shows that less than half of the 9000 people surveyed in nine countries are eating dairy on a daily basis. Fonterra Group Director Strategy, Maury Leyland, said today’s results clearly demonstrate growing awareness of the importance of dairy nutrition across the region and the opportunity this presents to the New Zealand dairy industry

“With a fast-growing and increasingly affluent population, people across Asia are becoming more focused on their families receiving the right nutrition. Fonterra is well-positioned to help meet this demand. 

“Our strategy outlines our focus on the Asian markets, where we see big potential for growth. In New Zealand the average person consumes the equivalent of 245 litres of milk each year, but in Asia this average is only 30 litres,” she said. 

Dairy demand across Asia has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, with demand for high quality dairy nutrition increasing by 49 per cent. This trend is set to continue with global demand expected to increase significantly in the coming years. 

“This is a real opportunity for Fonterra. We have teams in 11 markets across Asia educating food companies and consumers about the benefits of dairy, and looking at ways to make dairy more accessible as part of daily diets and a core ingredient in commercial kitchens – and this hard work is paying off.

“Our high-calcium milk brand, Anlene, is helping hundreds of millions of people maintain good bone health with one billion serves sold in 2012; our Anmum brand reaches more than one million mothers-to-be in Asia every year, serving over 300 million glass of maternal nutrition; and every day Anchor provides top quality nutrition to people in 83 countries,” said Ms Leyland.

“We’re also making the most of opportunities in the fast-growing global foodservice industry.  In 2013, our dairy ingredients will be used in four billion meals, 12 million cheesecakes, 1.6 billion burgers, 675 million pizzas, and 30 million smoothies.

Of those surveyed in the research released today, Chinese and Thai consumers were the most aware of the benefits of dairy nutrition, with 84 per cent of saying they believed it was an important or very important part of a balanced diet. Recognition was the lowest in Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam at just over 60 per cent in each country.  

Chinese consumers are eating the most dairy with over 60 per cent of people eating at least one serving a day, followed by the Philippines where 53 per cent of people enjoy dairy on a daily basis.

“Dairy is one of the world’s most nutritious foods – a single glass of milk provides 15 essential vitamins and nutrients, contains as much protein as an egg, as many carbohydrates as a quarter cup of rice and the same amount of calcium as sixteen cups of spinach. 

“It is fantastic to see such a high level of recognition of its benefits ahead of this year’s World Milk Day,” Ms Leyland said. 

Video: What’s in a glass of milk? Hear more about the benefits of dairy.