What is Powdered Milk?

Powdered milk is a dairy product manufactured by evaporating milk. The milk is evaporated at a temperature of about 72°C and the water content reduced to less than 4% to form powdered milk. It is very convenient to use and is specifically used by the people who do not have access to fresh milk supply. Cost of transportation is significantly reduced by the evaporation of milk into a powdered form. Easy to store in air-tight containers, this powdered milk gives great taste to tea, coffee, and even shakes. 

Different Forms &Applications

Various varieties of powdered milk is available in the market, based on the fat content present in them. They can be classified as whole milk powder and skimmed milk powder. They are also classified based on sources such as goat milk powder, soy milk powder, and coconut milk powder.  
There are many applications for powdered milk and some of them form a crucial part of daily life as well. One such important market is the baby food industry in which the milk powder has been used very prominently and successfully. Powdered milk is also used in the manufacturing of various dairy products like cheese, yogurt, chocolates, and ice creams. Other industries which use powdered milk and have promising markets are sports, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and the cosmetics sectors.

Market Outlook

The global powdered milk market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 2.5%–3% during the forecast period 2018–2023. Europe is the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 1.5%–2.5%, which is mainly attributed to the growing demand from the infant milk powder industry. Europe holds the major market share of the powdered milk market and is supported by a large amount of milk produced from cows in this region, though most of the powdered milk is exported post the manufacturing. It is followed by the U.S. which also exports a large quantity of its production to foreign countries. China is the biggest importer of powdered milk and the demand for foreign brands of powdered milk is set to witness a growth in this country.

Market Drivers/Constraints

Owing to a longer shelf-life than liquid milk, powdered milk is easy to store at cold temperatures. This property of powdered milk is useful during its transportation to remote areas, where the milk supply and the production volume is low. One of the other major market drivers for the powdered milk market is the introduction of low (0.01%) lactose powdered milk. This is a boon for lactose intolerant people whose digestive system is not able to tolerate regular milk. Because of the availability of such products and at a cheaper rate, the powdered milk market is boosting in South Asian countries.
In emerging economies of China, Brazil, and India, the growing population and growth in the food and beverage industry is stimulating the demand for powdered milk. The same nutritional value is offered in powdered milk as in regular milk, and therefore, powdered milk is being used in sports diets like nutrition bars and beverages. The increasing health consciousness and fitness awareness are two major factors fueling the consumption of powdered milk in sports diets.

The government regulations and norms are getting more stringent and the export and import of milk powders is posing challenges for the growth of the powdered milk market. The Dairy Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes the U.S. standards for grades of milk powders. Recently, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has revised its regulations in milk and milk products in the year 2017, in order to widen the scope of the existing food standards by Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011. Many other regulatory bodies also monitor the standards of milk powders by inspection and grading services.

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Market Trends

Increasing world population is posing a burden on the development of various milk substitutes. Apart from traditional cow milk powder, the market has seen various new products too, in the race for innovation. Goat milk powder, soy milk powder, and coconut milk powder are to name a few.  Lactose intolerant people are preferring goat milk powder over cow milk powder as it is low in sugar and has 13% more calcium, more vitamin A, and Vitamin B6. Goat milk powder is now widely being used in developing countries as well as in the Middle East and eastern European countries.

In the News

Even a decade after the lethal milk powder scandal that happened in China, parents still mistrust the local Chinese brands and prefer foreign products. Lethal chemical added by the Chinese suppliers resulted in the death of six infants and about 300,000 infants were poisoned. The scandal completed a decade on 22 January 2019, but had a reverberator effect on the market, specifically in the Chinese region. Nestle SA witnessed a quadrupled sale of milk powder market in China since the scandal and became the clear market leader in the region. Chinese milk giants are still struggling to build up foreign milk resources in order to win the local markets ten years later. (i)

Key Companies Outlook

Milk powder manufacturing companies like Nestle SA have been spending a fortune for research and development in the infant nutrition sector. In 2017, Nestle SA opened a new R&D center in Ireland investing more than 25 million Euros. The new facility of Wyeth Nutrition had to focus on developing new milk-based products for infants and mothers. (ii) 
Lactalis, a French dairy giant has been progressively making acquisitions and has made a whopping investment of Rs. 1,700 crores for a company named Prabhat Dairy in India. Lactalis has been on a buying spree since 2014, and is shelling out a lot of money in order to grow its dairy business.
The other top companies in the powdered milk market are Danone, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra, Dean Foods, Arla Foods, Dairy Farmers of America, Kraft Foods, Saputo, Parmalat, and others.

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(i) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-21/china-s-lethal-milk-scandal-reverberates-a-decade-later
(ii) https://www.nestle.com/media/news/new-irish-research-and-development-centre-supports-infant-nutrition