Milk market in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Milk is a dairy product rich with protein, iodine, calcium and several vitamins, and loved by many Europeans. In the United Kingdom, the leading milk brands available at supermarkets are Tesco and Sainsbury’s milk. In France, most consumers bought Délisse and Carrefour milk. In the Netherlands, Campina is a well-known milk brand. The Theo Müller Group, which owns the milk brands Müller and Weihenstephan, is the market leader in dairy manufacturing in Germany. The Europe-wide operating dairy company Arla Foods is based in Denmark. TINE is the largest dairy cooperative in Norway and produced milk with a volume of 377 million liters in 2016.

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. In Italy, the annual volume of milk delivered to dairies amounts to approximately 11 million tons. In 2017, this milk was produced by more than 2 million dairy cows. The processed outcome in 2016 was mainly liquid milk with a volume of roughly 2.5 million tons. For the dairy food manufacture in Sweden, roughly 2.9 million metric tons of milk was delivered to dairies. In Norway, figures amounted to 1.5 billion liters of cow milk and 22 million liters of goat milk in 2016, the cow’s milk coming from 222 thousand dairy cows. Within the European Union, Germany has the largest number of dairy cows at approximately 4.22 million, followed by France at 3.63 million cows and Poland at 2.2 million animals. In 2016, more than 1.7 million dairy cows and 347 goats were producing milk for the Dutch dairy market.

For the United Kingdom, the leading destination of milk and cream exports in 2015 was Ireland with a volume of 617 thousand metric tons. France exported roughly 962 thousand metric tons of liquid milk which were worth over 376 million euros in 2016. Denmark imported whole milk and skim milk with a value of 122 million Danish kroner, while Sweden imported milk and cream worth over 3 billion Swedish kronor. In this Nordic country, 81.8 liters of fluid milk have been consumed per capita in 2016. In the same year, an average Finn drank 120 liters of milk, which is far above the European average of 59.4 liters per person. Germany was consuming 53.7 liters. While all Nordic countries are consuming milk above the average, the dairy product is not as popular in the rest of Europe. French consumers drank on average 49.6 liters, and in Italy approximately 47.7 liters of milk per person were consumed in 2016. The Spanish per capita consumption of fluid milk decreased annually and amounted to roughly 69.9 liters in 2017.

Organic dairy produce is gaining more and more attention all over Europe. With the retail sale of organic whole milk, Denmark generated a turnover of more than 113 million Danish kroner in 2017. In Germany and in the Netherlands, milk is the consumer's favorite among organic products offered in retail stores. Organic flavored milk drinks were sold in Germany with a value of 2.2 million U.S. dollars in 2015. Dutch supermarkets recorded organic milk sales with a value of roughly 100.5 million U.S. dollars and organic flavored milk drinks with a value of 3.2 million U.S. dollars.

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