Huge growth being experienced in the China consumer dairy market can only be great news for New Zealand exporters, says Katherine Rich.

Analysis by global market research company Innova Market Insights shows dairy product growth from 2016 to 2017 was 44%, while the growth in market value was 8%. It shows cheese product launches grew by 688%, milk and milk drinks by 48%, spoonable yoghurt 36%, and drinkable yoghurt 25%

“This growth is significant for New Zealand given that China is such a huge market and that they like and trust our dairy products. The more their market grows the more chances it will open for our producers.

“It’s interesting that a lot of this growth seems to have come on the back of changing consumer preferences in China. For example, Innova puts the massive growth in cheese consumption down to the fact that it has finally caught on there as a food for all times of the day. Some 32% of Chinese have it with breakfast, 26% as a morning snack, 20% with lunch, 23% as an afternoon snack, and 17% with dinner.”

Last year, New Zealand exports of milk powder, butter, and cheese to China increased by $1.4 billion (52%) to $4.1 billion, the highest level since the record-high dairy prices of 2013/14.

The analysis was reported by Food Navigator-Asia, and you can see the full report here.