Is the dairy category missing a trick?


by Maria Sze


According to a recent Dairy report in the Grocer, almost a quarter of UK shoppers (24%) are thinking about cutting back on the amount of dairy they eat. This figure increases to nearly a third for 16 – 34 year olds. The top three drivers for this are health (60%), animal welfare (32%) and the environment (25%). Within the report, there were some clear messages that can help reassure and drive preferences at fixture e.g. buying British, low fat etc

So with such a significant exodus looming I thought it was worth visiting store and checking out what the category was saying to allay shopper concerns and sustain consumption.


British cues?

Around 42% of shoppers agree there is nothing to worry about as long as you buy British.

Top marks to Country Life who make their butter sing rule Britannia. Yeo Valley have a knocked back yet prominent flag in their packaging too. Co-op nod to British within their union jack logo.



Animal welfare (RSPCA) or free range?

47% think free-range is fine.

Both Asda and Arla's Free Range Milk do a fantastic job on shelf.

Many feature the Red Tractor logo on their range but it’s usually quite low key, on the side or back.


British farmer support

Over half (53%) of shoppers agree that “supermarkets should pay dairy farmers more and take less profit”.

Top marks to Morrisons and Tesco for making sure that this message really hits home.



Around a third still insist more low-fat options would convince them to indulge more often (31%).

Pretty well represented across all private label and brands on product.



24% would buy more if there was a greater range of “natural” unprocessed products.

Other than Babybel and generic signage for yoghurt and cottage cheese, this wasn’t really addressed.


Whilst some brands have taken the shopper feedback on board, the majority don’t seem to be making the most of their offering. The category itself could definitely do with some improvements to help shoppers navigate their preferences as well as reassuring concerns. 

After working with Arla for 7 years we appreciate that it is a low engagement, low interest category where taste often comes behind price. However, with such compelling shopper feedback this definitely feels like a brilliant opportunity for some brave brands to steal a lead. 

We’ll be ready to help them when they are –


Source: The Grocer - September 2017

Claire Scott