Report finds slowdown in dairy beverages market

Dairy beverage sales growth slowed in 2008.
Dairy beverage sales growth slowed in 2008.
The global recession and a tainted-milk scandal in China hurt the growth of the dairy beverages market in 2008, according to a new report.

The global dairy drinks market grew by just 0.5 percent in 2008, compared to 2.4 percent growth in 2007, according to market research firm Canadean.

Because Asia now consumes 45 percent of the total demand for dairy drinks, the melamine scandal in Asia had a significant impact on sales. The Asian market grew by only 0.5 percent last year after 5.1 percent growth in 2007, Canadean said.

The first absolute declines in demand in North America and Western Europe since 2004 compounded the market's slump, while Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South America and the Middle East experienced positive growth in 2008.

White milk remains accounted for 79.4 percent of total global dairy drinks demand last year, but the fastest-growing products since 2002 have been value-added products such as drinking yogurts, flavored milk and fermented milk, Canadean reported.

However, these market segments saw steep decline in 2008, while demand grew for white milk, Canadean said.