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Dairy industry in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Milk and dairy products are important sources of protein, iodine, calcium and several other vitamins and a daily intake is of high importance for many Europeans. In fact, approximately 37 million metric tons of fresh dairy products are consumed annually in the European Union. To be named a dairy product, food must be produced from the milk of cows, goats or similar animals. The dairy sector includes food such as milk, milk powder, cheese, butter and yoghurt as well as ice cream.

European Dairy Overview

In the United Kingdom, dairy product manufacturers produced a turnover of over ten billion British pounds in 2019. Most of the Netherland’s turnover within the food manufacturing sector is generated by dairy processing. The amount was roughly 14.5 billion euros in 2019. In the last year, the manufacture of Swedish dairy products was estimated to amount to 2.8 million U.S. dollars. Liquid milk made up the majority of dairy food produced in the European Union, with a volume of nearly 20 million metric tons. The rest of the European milk was processed into cheese, cream, butter, fresh dairy products and milk powder. In Italy, the annual volume of milk delivered to dairies amounted to approximately 12 million metric tons in 2018. This milk was produced by almost 2 million dairy cows.

The Dairy Market in Europe

Based on its sales turnover of roughly 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, the French company Lactalis is the leadingdairy manufacturer worldwide. Following this is the Swiss company Nestlé, and the french dairy corporation Danone, each with a revenue worth around 20 billion U.S. dollars. FrieslandCampina, another well-known, leading dairy cooperative, is based in the Netherlands, and is famous for their Edam and Gouda cheese. Cheese production in the Netherlands is forecast to reach nearly one billion Euros by 2025. Although the Dutch love their cheese, a good majority of their cheeses are exported. The Netherlands are sending out most of its cheese to Germany and Belgium. Similarly, the French cuisine consists of a delicate selection of cheese. To supply other countries with the specialty, 656 thousand metric tons of French cheese were exported in 2016. For the United Kingdom, the leading destination of dairy exports in 2020 was Ireland, by a large margin.

Dairy Consumption and Consumer Trends

In 2020, approximately 123.5 kilograms of milk were consumed by Danes, which was far beyond the European average of 65 kilograms per person. While the milk drank per capita is falling all over Europe (like in Sweden), organic products are on the rise. In 2018, organic drinking milk in Sweden totaled approximately one fifth of all drinking milks. This is an on-going trend, and is forecast to continue increasing in the near future.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Dairy industry in Europe" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

United Kingdom

Germany

France

Sweden

Denmark

Norway

Netherlands

Belgium

Italy

Spain

Other interesting statistics

Dairy industry in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Milk and dairy products are important sources of protein, iodine, calcium and several other vitamins and a daily intake is of high importance for many Europeans. In fact, approximately 37 million metric tons of fresh dairy products are consumed annually in the European Union. To be named a dairy product, food must be produced from the milk of cows, goats or similar animals. The dairy sector includes food such as milk, milk powder, cheese, butter and yoghurt as well as ice cream.

European Dairy Overview

In the United Kingdom, dairy product manufacturers produced a turnover of over ten billion British pounds in 2019. Most of the Netherland’s turnover within the food manufacturing sector is generated by dairy processing. The amount was roughly 14.5 billion euros in 2019. In the last year, the manufacture of Swedish dairy products was estimated to amount to 2.8 million U.S. dollars. Liquid milk made up the majority of dairy food produced in the European Union, with a volume of nearly 20 million metric tons. The rest of the European milk was processed into cheese, cream, butter, fresh dairy products and milk powder. In Italy, the annual volume of milk delivered to dairies amounted to approximately 12 million metric tons in 2018. This milk was produced by almost 2 million dairy cows.

The Dairy Market in Europe

Based on its sales turnover of roughly 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, the French company Lactalis is the leadingdairy manufacturer worldwide. Following this is the Swiss company Nestlé, and the french dairy corporation Danone, each with a revenue worth around 20 billion U.S. dollars. FrieslandCampina, another well-known, leading dairy cooperative, is based in the Netherlands, and is famous for their Edam and Gouda cheese. Cheese production in the Netherlands is forecast to reach nearly one billion Euros by 2025. Although the Dutch love their cheese, a good majority of their cheeses are exported. The Netherlands are sending out most of its cheese to Germany and Belgium. Similarly, the French cuisine consists of a delicate selection of cheese. To supply other countries with the specialty, 656 thousand metric tons of French cheese were exported in 2016. For the United Kingdom, the leading destination of dairy exports in 2020 was Ireland, by a large margin.

Dairy Consumption and Consumer Trends

In 2020, approximately 123.5 kilograms of milk were consumed by Danes, which was far beyond the European average of 65 kilograms per person. While the milk drank per capita is falling all over Europe (like in Sweden), organic products are on the rise. In 2018, organic drinking milk in Sweden totaled approximately one fifth of all drinking milks. This is an on-going trend, and is forecast to continue increasing in the near future.

Other interesting statistics

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