Flavoured milk drinks key to growth spurt for liquid cartons in China

(from Food Packaging Prospects in Emerging Markets – Asia Pacific global briefing)

Flavoured milk drinks rank as the most dynamic category for liquid cartons in the Asia Pacific retail food industry, recording a 19% increase in demand in 2010; this category alone is set to account for 52% of liquid cartons unit volume growth over 2010-2015.

The sheer size of China is overwhelmingly driving the region’s sales of liquid cartons. China accounts for 88% of regional sales of liquid cartons in flavoured milk drinks with retail sales of 20.5 billion units in 2010. Outside China, rising per capita consumption in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand is further adding to strong prospects for liquid cartons in the region, with improved cold chain infrastructure in urban India providing an added impetus for growth. The popularity of flavoured milk drinks as healthy alternatives to carbonates will underpin strong prospects.

The strength of liquid cartons in China’s food packaging consumption is epitomised by the dairy category where lead pack format, brick liquid cartons, exerts greatest prominence, through its presence in long-life/UHT milk, flavoured milk drinks, drinking yoghurt and soy beverages with Chinese unit volumes up 15% in 2010.

Leading dairies Inner Mongolia Yili and Mengniu have launched a number of different flavours to further expand consumer interest, with Chinese consumers showing a special interest in red date flavoured milk. In line with these launches, shaped cartons, as a means of differentiation, are performing well with 2010 sales up 15% in the dairy category.

(The following charts are from Food Packaging Prospects in Emerging Markets – Asia Pacific global briefing)