Dairy, Live Stock

Milk: What Pakistan thinks?

Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of milk with volumes cumulated across formal and informal sectors. At present, the rate of urbanization in Pakistan is on the rise and lifestyles are also changing accordingly. However, according to market sources when it comes to milk consumption, most Pakistanis still prefer loose milk which is available largely through the informal sector of the dairy industry.

According to a latest Gallup Pakistan and Business Recorder Research survey, most Pakistanis prefer pasteurized milk compared to other options. Before sharing the findings further, let’s just first looks at the current milk availability in Pakistan.

Based on some sources, Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of milk with volumes cumulated across formal and informal sectors.

At present, the rate of urbanization in Pakistan is on the rise and lifestyles are also changing accordingly.

However, according to market sources when it comes to milk consumption, most Pakistanis still prefer loose milk which is available largely through the informal sector of the dairy industry.

With that said, things are changing. Health conscious customers worry about the hygiene of loose milk and general perception is that the level of adulteration has increased quite significantly over the years.

 

The higher demand for UHT milk has also brought significant investment to the dairy sector in the recent years although at the same time its mind blowing that as the formal sector become active, the prices of milk are also on the rise.

Those days are long gone when only water was added to the milk, which was quite easy for the consumer to find out.

These days, adulteration is done by adding Urea, cooking oil and the list goes on. These issues have forced many to opt for processed milk.

Still, processed milk is still at its fledgling stage, although it is quickly growing. The market share of this type of milk has increased by 5-7 percent compared to mere 2-3 percent, a decade back.

In Pakistan, Ultra High Temperature (UHT) treated milk rules the processed milk market, however, pasteurized milk is quickly catching up.

Now, let’s look at the findings of the Gallup Pakistan’s (GP) survey in detail which was based on question formulated by BR Research.

According to the results of the nationally representative poll of 1,887 households, 42 percent of Pakistanis prefer pasteurized milk. 35 percent have a preference for loose milk; while 18 percent said they like UHT-packaged milk and five percent showed no preference. T

hese poll findings have a confidence level of 95 percent with error margin of under five percent.

 

The second problem is that both retailers and consumers need to chill the milk before use and due to the energy crisis, and high load shedding, wastage is quite high.

Nestlé Pakistan, which is a giant in the local milk market, states that it is monitoring developments in this area. The company has run pilot projects and contends that it has the capability to produce and distribute pasteurized milk.

However, it is quite evident that there is a strong correlation between better and cheaper power supply and demand for pasteurized milk.

Experts assert that once Pakistan can overcome its energy crisis, the demand for pasteurized milk will increase quite significantly in the country.

Consumer preference for pasteurized milk shows that Pakistanis have a clear idea that pasteurized milk has better nutritional value than UHT.

It is also the preferred choice of milk in developed countries. So, why is pasteurization not being promoted in Pakistan as an alternative to UHT milk?

UHT milk, which has a shelve life of 6-9 months and does not need chilling during the supply process can easily be scaled up to the whole country with one or two plants.

Pasteurized milk has a relatively short shelve life of three to five days, and needs refrigeration during transportation and storage.

The requisite investment makes it a comparatively lofty alternative. On the other hand, the country lacks chilled distribution network which also creates distribution issues.

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