Four in ten Indian households are feeling the pinch of multiple increase in milk price in the last 12 months and have either cut down on quantity, shifted to lower priced alternatives or stopped buying milk, revealed the results of a survey conducted by LocalCircles.
Most well-known dairy brands, whether cooperatives or start-ups, have raised the price of their products at least 2-5 times in the last year by Rs 1-3 each time. The latest increase of Rs 3 in the prices of all grades of milk by Amul, Govardhan and other brands has once again got some household consumers to take a call on optimizing or reducing their milk consumption.
The cumulative increase in prices by some brands has been more than Rs 12 per litre over the last one year.
The major reason cited by dairy sector biggies is the steep increase in costs of energy both for operation and logistics, packaging and cattle feed and other overheads including labour costs.
The survey, which attemps to understand how households are “coping with the high milk prices” which have increased 4-6 times in most parts of India in the last 12 months, reveals that 59% or 6 in 10 households surveyed indicated that they are “paying higher prices and buying the same quantity of milk from their preferred brand. But at least 19% indicated that they have “reduced the quantity that they purchase.
At least 16% have “switched to a cheaper alternative or grade of the same brand”; 3% have “switched to a lower cost brand or local supply source”; and 3% have stopped buying milk.
The survey received over 10,000 responses from citizens located in 303 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 45% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
In most Indian households, apart from vegans and those who don’t like it, milk and milk products including curd, butter, ghee, buttermilk, paneer, cheese, etc., are among the most consumed food items.
India is not only the largest milk producer but also the largest consumer of milk and milk products according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) “Dairy and Products Annual – 2021” report.
India’s per capita milk consumption at 406 grams (g)/day (2019-2020), already exceeds the world average of 305 g/day (2020), the USDA report states.
Source : Times of India Feb 7th 2023