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The consumption of sour milk drinks has many positive effects on health due to its medicinal properties such as being anti-diabetic and improves the gastrointestinal tract system. Sour milk is produced by the acidification of milk which gives the milk a tart sour taste. The acidification is achieved by the bacterial fermentation carried out by Lactococcus lactis and few other strains of bacteria. The sour milk drinks contain a considerable amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients that are enticing consumers to purchase these products in the market. The products are beneficial to enhance the appetite and act as a cleanser by removing harmful substances from the gut. Thus, the flavor, nutritional value, and bioactive compounds content in sour milk drinks are the factors that cumulatively aid its market growth.
The availability of small, one-time serve, and flexible packs of sour milk drinks such as drinking yogurt and kefir adds a convenience factor, which in turn is driving the market. The consumers have grown health-conscious and hence, are demanding snacks that is satiating and health beneficial which has led to increased consumption of drinking yogurt as a healthy snack alternative.
The rising prevalence of various chronic diseases such as celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome has prompted consumers to shift to healthier food products to improve gut health. Thus, leading to the rise in consumption of functional food and beverages such as probiotic drinks and kefir is driving the sour milk drinks market. According to researchers of Columbus University, Ohio, drinking sour milk drinks appeared to drastically reduce the negative symptoms in people with lactose intolerance along with, improving the digestive system and immunity.
Key Market Driver -
Rising Demand for Functional Beverages
Key Market Restraint -
High Product Storage and Preservation Cost
The high investment and storage cost for sour milk drinks production is a major restraining factor in market growth. The sour milk drinks are stored at low temperatures i.e. below or at 4-6°C to avoid spoilage due to the widespread growth of bacteria. This increases the storage and overall production cost which is likely to hamper its market growth.
The key companies operating in the global sour milk drinks market are, Danone SA, Lifeway Foods, Inc., Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Nestle SA, Chr. Hansen Holding A/S, The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Amul), Graham’s The Family Dairy Ltd., Lact’Union Group, Scott Brothers Dairy Inc., and Lowveld Favourites.
The kefir segment is most likely to emerge as the leading segment due to the numerous health benefit provided by it. The probiotic qualities of kefir such as it contain over 40 types of gut-friendly bacteria and also is rich in protein, calcium, and other nutrients which have led to its growing popularity among the consumers. Further, its availability in various fruits and chocolate flavors has also boosted its sales performance.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets are expected to be the major sales channel for buying sour milk drinks. The wide product availability in these mass merchandisers, along with the convenience of purchasing other household goods under the same roof, is a major reason influencing consumers to opt for this channel.
Europe is expected to hold the major share in the market as sour milk is commonly made and consumed in the households as well as sold commercially in the region, especially Eastern Europe. Kefir originated in the Caucasus and is an ancient drink that is widely consumed as probiotic drink. Germany is among the prominent consumer of kefir in the region due to the high consumer awareness and reinforced production capacity by the manufacturers. Further, the rise in the lactose intolerant population in the region has led the consumers to shift towards these sour milk drinks, thus expected to drive the regional market growth during the forecast years (2020-2027).
Asia Pacific is anticipated to foresee a significant growth, due to its wide availability as a functional beverage in the form of drinking yogurt and buttermilk in stores. The wide availability of drinking yogurt and buttermilk in numerous flavors has led to their increased consumption in countries such as India and China. Further, these countries are the major milk producers across the world and thus the manufacturers are launching new products in these potential markets. These factors thus, offer ample opportunities for the sector to flourish in the upcoming years.
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