The global UHT milk market size reached USD 61.56 Billion in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period, according to latest analysis by Emergen Research. Market revenue growth is driven by key factors such as extended shelf life of UHT milk and less requirement for refrigeration during distribution, storage, and transportation.
Poor cold chain setup in developing countries is a key factor expected to drive ultra-high temperature milk market revenue growth during the forecast period. Many developing countries continue to face a severe lack in cold chain infrastructure and logistics necessary to safely distribute food products to consumers. Extended shelf life of UHT milk and less requirement of refrigeration are boosting demand in developing countries. This allows for a level of dependability and portability not seen with fresh milk supply. The shelf life of milk is extended to over four months with UHT and aseptic technology, which is otherwise around 21 days for traditional milk pasteurization. Moreover, these products are ideal for storage in warehouses, safety in long-distance distribution, as well as for retail outlets that lack refrigeration. Small scale restaurants and food outlet chains in many parts of Asia and Africa are increasingly utilizing UHT milk due to lack of proper refrigeration system, and the trend has been gaining traction in the recent past.
Manufacturing issues such as limited production capacity, potential contamination, and limited shelf life awareness of these products are expected to restrain ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk market growth to some extent over the forecast period. Potential of depreciation of nutritional value of milk during sterilization and product quality loss during UHT treatment such as age gelation, fat separation, and flavour loss are other factors hampering demand for these products. High cost of flavoured UHT milk could also negatively impact sales in some developing countries.
The global UHT milk market revenue is expected to register a CAGR of 8.1% and increase from USD 61.56 Billion in 2020 to USD 113.94 Billion in 2028. Rising demand for UHT processed and aseptically packaged dairy foods is driving revenue growth of the market. Rising need for maximizing destruction of microorganisms while minimizing chemical changes of the product is increasing demand for UHT milk and boosting market growth.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted demand for UHT treated milk as consumer are minimizing the number of visits to supermarkets and instead in an increasing number of consumers stocking milk with longer shelf life. With a shelf life of over six months at room temperature, UHT milk is suitable for use in homes that have lack of large refrigeration systems. Big dairy product corporations that have already been selling UHT milk have experienced increased demand during the lockdown. During the pandemic, buying behavior of consumers shifted towards tetra packed milk changed due to ease of use and extended shelf life and demand for UHT milk has increased by about 15%. Moreover, the pandemic has also boosted online grocery purchases by 30% and continues to drive revenue growth of the global UHT milk market.
Current trends and Innovations
Increasing disposable income coupled with improving standards of living among consumers are some key factors fueling market growth. Westernization of diets and culture are also resulting in rising demand for flavored UHT milk products. High food safety, quality, nutrition, and reduced impact on the environment are factors influencing purchasing decision of consumers. Moreover, manufacturers are increasingly investing for production of milk products with the addition of flavoured and organic content along with sweeteners and colourings, which are expected to boost market growth. Rising preference among younger consumers for flavoured milk products and beverages in comparison to unflavored milk due to availability of different flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, and banana is driving market growth.
UHT milk market in Asia Pacific is expected to register fastest revenue CAGR over the forecast period owing to rise in purchasing power of consumers and growth of the e-Commerce sector in countries in the region. Lack of cold chain capacity in many countries is contributing to rising demand for UHT milk in the region owing to extended product shelf life. Per capita refrigerated warehouse capacity in China is one-third that of the U.S. and one-half that of countries in Western Europe. According to reports, a dairy company in China reported that its UHT products have a penetration rate of 84% overall and 86% in third- and fourth-tier cities. Moreover, entry of new players in the regional market and expansion of production facilities by leading players due to rising consumption of UHT dairy products in the region are some key factors boosting market growth in the region.