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 47 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.

In the United Kingdom, dairy product manufacturers produced a turnover of almost 8.8 billion British pounds in 2015. Most of the Netherland’s turnover within the food manufacturing sector is generated by dairy processing. The amount was roughly 12 billion euros in 2015. That same year, the turnover of the Swedish dairy industry amounted to approximately 2.6 billion Swedish kronor. Liquid milk makes up the majority of dairy food produced in the European Union in 2016, with a volume of more than 25 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 amounts to approximately 11 million metric tons. In 2016, this milk was produced by more than 2 million dairy cows.

Based on its sales turnover of roughly 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, the Swiss company Nestlé is the worldwide market leader in dairy manufacturing. The two French dairy corporations Lactalis and Danone follow right after, each with a revenue worth more than 15 billion U.S. dollars. The Danish-Swedish dairy company Arla Foods is also among the 20 largest dairy manufacturers worldwide and generated a sales turnover of approximately 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. In the Netherlands, FrieslandCampina is a well-known dairy cooperative. The Netherlands, which are famous for their Edam and Gouda cheese, produced approximately 889 million kilograms of cheese in 2015. With the dairy products brands Müller and Weihenstephan, the Theo Müller Group is the market leader in Germany.

The French cuisine consists, among other foods, of a delicate selection of cheese. To supply other countries with the specialty, 680 thousand metric tons of French cheese were exported in 2015. The Netherlands are sending out most of its cheese to Germany and Belgium. For the United Kingdom, the leading destination of dairy exports in 2015 was Ireland, with a share of 67 percent.

In 2015, an average Finn ate 3.3 kilograms of butter which was close to the European average of 3.8 kilograms per person. France, with 8 kilograms, Germany with 6 kilograms and Iceland with 5.8 kilograms per capita were consuming the most butter in Europe that year.

Organic products are on the rise all over Europe. In Austria, organic milk had a share of 17.3 percent of the organic market in 2015. Denmark generated a turnover of more than 300 million Danish kroner with the retail sale of organic cheese in 2016. In Germany, milk is the bestseller among organic products offered in retail stores. Organic milk led to a sales revenue of 265.6 million U.S. dollars, followed by cheese at 174 million U.S. dollars in 2015.

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Dairy industry in Europe - Important statistics

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Dairy product manufacturing enterprises in the United Kingdom (UK) 2008-2016
Dairy products: Manufacturing turnover in the United Kingdom (UK) 2008-2016
Ice cream manufacturers' sales in the United Kingdom (UK) 2008-2016
Milk and cream export volume from the United Kingdom (UK) to EU-27 2015, by country
Milk and cream import volume from EU-27 2015 to the United Kindom (UK), by country
Per capita consumption of butter in Europe 2016, by country
Global revenue of Arla Foods in 2006-2017
Global revenue share of Arla Foods in 2013-2016, by product group
Revenue of the leading dairy companies in Germany 2016
Per capita consumption of fluid milk in Spain from 2000 to 2016 (in liters)
Average retail price per liter fluid milk in Spain in 2016, by distribution channel
Per capita consumption of cheese in Spain 2016, by type
Dairies and cheese makers turnover in Norway 2007-2016
Dairy products manufacturing turnover in Norway 2007-2016
Dairy products consumption volume in Spanish households 2011-2015
Volume of cheese produced in the Netherlands 2006-2016
Liquid milk export volume from France 2013-2017
Cheese export volume from France 2013 to 2017
Liquid milk export value from France 2013 to 2017
Yoghurt and fermented milk products import value to France 2008 to 2015
Yoghurt household expenditure in France from 2012 to 2015
Per capita consumption of milk in Finland 2007-2016
Per capita expenditure on yoghurt Spain 2016, by type
Export value of milk and dairy products from Germany 2008-2017
Production volume of fresh dairy products in Germany 2010-2016
Number of businesses in the milk processing industry in Germany 1935/1938-2016
Consumption of fresh dairy products in Germany 2010-2016
Number of companies in the dairy products industry in Germany in 2016
Global per capita consumption of fluid milk 2016, by country
Italy: production volume of dairy 2016, by category
Italy: volume of fresh cheese exported worldwide 2007-2017
Italy: main purchaser countries of Gorgonzola from Italy 2015-2016
Italy: main purchasing countries of locally produced Grana cheeses 2017
European Union-28: fresh dairy products consumption volume forecast 2015-2026
Import value of milk and cream into Sweden 2007-2017
Import value of butter, other fats and oils of milk into Sweden 2007-2017
Italy: production volume of Grana Padano PDO 2012-2016
Italy: production volume of Gorgonzola PDO 2012-2016
Italy: volume of milk delivered to dairies Italy 2011-2017
Italy: fermented milk consumption volume per capita 2013-2017
Sales turnover of milk in Sweden 2006-2016
Sales turnover of cheese and other milk products in Sweden 2006-2016
Per capita consumption of milk in Sweden 2006-2016
Consumption volume of cheese in Sweden 2006-2016
Volume of milk delivered to dairies in Sweden 2009-2015
Annual turnover of organic whole milk in retail shops in Denmark 2010-2017
Annual turnover of organic cheese in retail shops in Denmark 2010-2017
Import value of butter and fats and oils derived from milk into Norway 2008-2017
Export value of butter, fats and oils derived from milk from Norway 2008-2017
Value of the import and export of Emmentaler cheese in the Netherlands 2008-2015
Value of the import and export of Edam cheese in the Netherlands 2008-2016
Annual turnover of organic skimmed milk in retail shops in Denmark 2010-2016
Total number of cheese stores in the Netherlands 2013-2017
Denmark: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2016
Turnover of dairy product manufacturing in Sweden 2008-2015
Import value of whole and skim milk into Denmark 2007-2016
Export value of whole and skim milk from Denmark 2007-2016
Export value of yoghurt from Denmark 2007-2016
Number of organic dairy farms in Denmark 2011-2016
Consumption volume of whole milk in Denmark 2011-2016
Average retail price of organic whole milk in Denmark 2011-2016
Dairy cow numbers in the European Union (EU-28) in 2016
Production volume of cheddar cheese in the United Kingdom (UK) 2000-2016
Average price of cheddar cheese in the United Kingdom (UK) 2016
Value of milk, cream and milk products imported into Iceland 2007-2015
Value of cheese and curd imported into Iceland 2007-2015
Main import partners of Sweden for cheese and curd 2016
Number of dairy farms in the Netherlands 2015, by type of animal
Number of dairy cattle in the Netherlands 2015, by type of animal
Distribution of dairy exports from the Netherlands 2016, by world region
Consumer price index (CPI) of whole milk in Iceland monthly 2017-2018
Consumer price index (CPI) of cheese in Iceland monthly 2017-2018
Volume of milk delivered to dairies in Norway 2009-2016, by type of milk
Dairy export share from the United Kingdom (UK) in 2015, by destination
Dairy import share to the United Kingdom (UK) in 2015, by origin
Total number of dairy cows in the Netherlands 2006-2016
Total number of dairy goats in the Netherlands 2006-2016
Per capita consumption volume of white cheese in Norway 2007-2016
Per capita consumption volume of brown cheese in Norway 2007-2016
Share of organic product groups by total market in Switzerland in 2015
Share of organic product groups by total market in Austria in 2015
Distribution of cheese exports from the Netherlands in 2017, by destination
Dairy butter production in Belgium 2006-2016
Market share of organic dairy sales in the Netherlands 2005-2020
Retail sales value of organic dairy in the Netherlands 2015, by product
Milk-based ice cream production in Belgium 2006-2016
Per capita cheese expenditure in Belgium 2007-2017
Organic dairy supermarket sales turnover in the Netherlands 2014-2016
Retail sales value of organic dairy Germany 2015
Number of dairy cows in Norway 2006-2016
Number of holdings keeping dairy cows in Norway 2006-2016
Number of dairy goats in Norway 2006-2016
Number of holdings keeping dairy goats in Norway 2006-2016
Operating revenue of the TINE Group 2012-2016
Sales revenue from convenience products of the TINE Group 2016, by segment
Production volume of liquid TINE products 2016, by type of product
Production volume of dairy products European Union (EU-28) 2016
Distribution of dairy products sales in Belgium 2017, by purchase channel
Spain: number of dairies & cheese making operators 2008-2014
Finland: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2016
Italy: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2014
Number of dairy cows in Italy 2008-2016
Per capita consumption of cheese in Luxembourg 2010-2015
Per capita consumption of fluid milk in Luxembourg 2010-2015
Dairy consumption per capita in Belgium 2010-2021, by milk product
Belgium: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2015
France: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2015
Luxembourg: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2015
Netherlands: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2015
Austria: number of dairy product manufacturers 2008-2015
Switzerland: number of dairy product manufacturers 2009-2015
Revenue of the food and beverage manufacturing industry Germany 2016
Turnover of the food industry in the Netherlands 2009-2016, by branch
Sales revenue of leading dairy companies in France 2015
Revenue of the food manufacturing industry in Austria 2015, by sector
Production value of the food manufacturing industry in Switzerland 2015

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