At the World dairy summit in Belfast, organized by the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the experts noted that the decrease in milk consumption in the world amounted to 2.96 million tons, or 0.4 kg per capita. IDF estimates that the global average consumption per person in the world is about 111.1 kg per year. Milk consumption per capita in Russia in 2016 amounted to 146.7 kg (163 kg in 2015).
Experts predict a decline in consumption in 2017 as well, noting that due to the reduction in consumption of dairy products there is being achieved an index of self-sufficiency.
Thomas Pietrangeli, managing Director of Arla in the UK in his speech at the World dairy summit noted that milk in the world has an image problem.
According to Arla Group, 24% of the world's population actively reduce the consumption of dairy products, 46% of people at the age of 16 to 24 complain of negative reactions when consuming milk, 56% of the population never think about the consumption of dairy products. Alternative products (substitutes for drinking milk, butter, cheese, etc.) show an annual growth of 9%. 20% of consumers believe that whole milk contains more than 80% fat. 55% of UK women believe that milk contains hormones.
This reaction is linked to the active promotion of other products and nutrition systems, to the struggle with dairy fat and protein, as well as to a total change in the culture of consumption.
"Dairy companies need to increase the number and improve the quality of communications. In addition, it is necessary to consider young women as the main target audience," said Mr. Pietrangeli.
Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-President of the EMB (European Milk Board) noted in comments to The DairyNews: "It is true that milk consumption in the EU decreases by about 1% a year because of a change in eating habits of the population, especially among young people. In many EU countries (e.g. in Portugal or the Netherlands), young people tend to drink less milk, but the consumption among the elderly people is stable".
However, the expert says, there are sectors with growing demand such as organic milk (all categories of the population) and cheese (among elderly people). At the moment there is a demand for butter, due to bad positioning of products with palm oil. "Excess dairy products are exported to the world market - unfortunately, at very low prices," said Sieta van Keimpema.
The participants of the Russian market suggest that dairy products in Russia are often characterized by mistrust on the part of the consumer. This is largely due to the growth of falsified products and "fight" of supervisory authorities, reporting about huge quantities of falsified dairy products on the shelves of networks, with them.
"In my opinion, the main problem in Russia is not with the consumption of milk but with lack of trust of the consumer in this product. In fact, the consumer is constantly deceived by unscrupulous manufacturers and there are enough of falsified products on the market!
In such a situation it is extremely difficult to earn the trust of the consumer. There is a way out – to help the consumer with the right choice of the producer, because milk and cheese are, of course, wholesome food products if they are produced using modern technologies and hygienic requirements," commented Ilya Ragozin, the founder of GC "Milk Group".
The main indicator here is the presence of the manufacturer's own farms, the expert said. If the company has its own animals and produces finished products from its own milk, then this is the main sign of quality of the finished product.
"For example, we have studied genetics of dairy animals and the technology of their welfare and feeding for three years before we built our first farm. It's very complicated and time-consuming work. Having overcome this way, no one will want to produce a low-quality product," said Ilya Ragozin.
Changes in consumer preferences, emergence of new categories of solvent customers with new requests for the market, changing of political, economic and cultural situations force companies-market participants to seek the best solutions for their products and to change their positioning. It is typical both for large market leaders and new players, companies of a narrow segment, etc.
Alexander Vagin, the Director of SUPERMARKET Branding Agency, PhD, the developer of a tourist brand of Russia, is sure that in the first place, not to "force" consumers to buy the product, it is necessary to create a brand that the consumer will want to purchase. In this sense, it is important that new or existing brand was created with the platform, positioning, unique packaging design that will graphically convey the idea of the brand.
"The main method of stimulating the consumption of dairy products like any other products is the creation of a strong brand. Also, in our experience, it is necessary to create points of differentiation that are the drivers of choice for different audiences. For example, today there is the trend of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet. Following this trend, manufacturers are introducing to the market new products with unique qualities or deliberately focus on existing ones. "High protein", "low calorie" product, "without palm oil", everything which contains the prefix "fitness-" attracts the attention of a certain target segments of the audience," commented Alexander Vagin.
If we speak about modern trends in packaging that, according to experts, is the main method of communication with consumers in the FMCG market, we can note manual labor, "story telling" when the package tells the story about the product.
Many market participants have noted that it is important to educate the consumer of dairy products since a young age. The program, that is meant to instill love to milk and encourages the consumption of milk as a source of calcium and minerals, is the "School milk". Today, in addition to the product of healthy nutrition in schools, milk for children is a social promotion tool for the producers.
Meanwhile, at the World dairy summit in Belfast opponents of milk consumption staged a rally, calling to think and "not to believe the myths about livestock breeding".
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