Summary of our market study

The French market for milk powder is estimated at €2.1 billion.

from 2020 onwards, the global milk powder market is set to continue its strong growth trajectory, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.27% until 2025, mainly due to demand in the baby food sector and the growing trend towards urbanization. The United States remains the world's leading producer of milk powder.

In France, milk powder accounts for 15.5% of milk production. The French market is characterized by the dominance of major brands such as Nestlé, Lactalis and Arla, within a market structure comprising 53 companies.

However, milk powder production volumes in France are declining. Prices for skimmed and whole milk powder (>26% fat content) rose by around 23% and 17% respectively.

France maintains a trade surplus for milk powder.

The French milk powder market

As a dairy by-product designed for a longer shelf-life, milk powder is in demand by various consumer segments, particularly families with babies and urban dwellers looking for convenient, ready-to-eat dairy options.

Birth rate is one of the main factors influencing demand for milk powder, and the French market is facing a challenge due to the falling birth rate there has been a decrease of around 10% in the number of babies born over the last decade, with between 700,000 and 720,000 babies born in recent years.

Average daily milk consumption has fallen by around 20% among children aged 3 to 17. Beyond childhood, overall trends in milk consumption across all age groups are down by around 7-8%. The country consumes over 2 billion liters of milk a year.

The value and volume of milk powder consumption by households have fallen by 15-20%. Milk powder accounts for over 40% of production measured by volume. Skimmed milk powder leads production volumes, with around 70% of milk powder production.

Milk powder is subject to strict European regulations concerning content, composition, hygiene, additives and labeling.

French milk powder market players

  • Nestlé: global powerhouse in the milk powder segment

  • Arla: a Danish-based cooperative with an extensive European footprint.

  • Lactalis: French dairy multinational

  • Sodiaal: one of France's leading dairy cooperatives

  • Laita: a major French dairy cooperative in the milk powder market
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The powdered milk is a milk that has been dehydrated which consists mainly of the dry matter of milk and is used in the food industry. The powder produced can come from "whole" milk, "semi-skimmed" milk or "skimmed" milk, it can also be sweetened or contain additives such as vitamins D. While milk is composed of more than 80% water, dehydration reduces this concentration rate to only 3%.

The global market is in a period of strong growth, a trend which will continue going forward. Indeed, until 2025 the market will expand at a CAGR of 4.27%. The key triggers to this growth include the usage of powdered milk in baby food, but also that urbanisation is increasing where consumers seek a fast, cheap and durable way of consuming milk. The United States is the largest producer of powdered milk in the world.

In France, 15.5% of the milk produced is dedicated to the transformation into powdered milk. This can be compared to 35.3% for cheese for example. Several hundred thousand tonnes of milk powder are produced in France every year, whereas it takes about 10 litres of milk to produce 1kg of skimmed milk powder. The French market has regained positive momentum in the last years after a period of stagnation. Owing to some of this upheaval is the price increase which seem to have had little effect on French consumers.

The market for milk powder is closely linked to the adjacent market of milk in France. Here, France is the second largest European producer of milk after Germany.

The market for milk powder is dominated by agri-food giants and to the dairy industry which leaves little room for new entrants. In France, the sector consists of 53 companies, but the large brands (Nestlé, Lactalis, Arla, etc.) dominate sales. 

1.2 The global market is growing

  Market size powdered milk World, ****-****, in $US billion Source: alliedmarketresearch The global market for powdered milk is expected to grow at a strong pace (***), motivated by the fact that its usage in baby food remains important, but also that urbanisation is increasing, which increases demand on ready-to-consume products. Since milk ...

1.3 Domestic market

Market size of manufacturing of other milk production (***) France, ****-****, in € million Source: ****

Milk powder falls under the category "other milk production" (***) as defined by INSEE. 

In ****, the value of production was €*.** billion. This is a very small increase of a CAGR of *.**%.

Meanwhile, the market size has been volatile; in ...

1.4 International Trade

In this section we analyse France's trade of butter. In particular, we use UN Comtrade's database and the code ****** - Dairy produce; milk and creme, concentrated, not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, in powder, granules or other solid forms, of a fat content exceeding *.*% (***). Although it is not an ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand drivers: babies and milk

Several demand triggers can be identified based on the consumer. Below, milk consumption related to babies, loyal drinkers of milk, are listed:

Birth rates: babies are avid milk consumers and thus contribute to the demand for powdered milk. Many times, parents find it convenient to purchase powdered milk to permit for ...

2.2 Demand drivers: household consumption

Adding to the previous section, although babies consumer more milk in its pure form than adults, it is important to analyse the overall consumption of milk and milk products across all age groups in France to obtain a holistic picture. With this in mind, this section looks at two metrics: Overall ...

2.3 Powdered products

Another way to look at demand for powdered milk in France is to break it down based on production, which we assume correlates almost perfectly to perceived demand. 

Production value, by category France, ****, in % Source: ****

In ****, powdered milk accounted for **.**% of production of all alternative milk forms, measured through volume, and ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The value chain of powdered milk

Source: ****

Powdered milk stems from the milk's cow. For durability and packaging reasons primarily, traditional milk is evaporated into a powder through the process described above. After this, the milk is sold in steel cans or plastic bags both on the B*B market or on the B*C market.

B*B: ...

3.2 Production volumes in decline

Production of powdered milk France, ****-****, in € million Source: ****

Production of powdered milk in France is decreasing; in ****, France produced and sold goods valued at €*.** billion. This is a decrease of some *.*% compared to ****. 

The largest share of that sales in **** was devoted to skimmed milk powder (***).

Usage of milk for ...

3.3 An increasingly competitive market

Employees and companies in the other milk products sector (***) France, ****-****, in units Source: ****

The number of firms registered under NAF code **.**D was ** in ****. This is an increase of some **.*% compared to ****, meaning the market for powdered milk in France has become more fragmented. 

The number of employees in the ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Product Overview

Milk powder is a solid product obtained by removing the water from milk, milk entirely or in part. partly skimmed, cream or a mixture of these products, and whose moisture content does not exceed not *% by weight of the finished product.

A distinction is made between the following powdered milks:- ...

4.2 Price analysis

Price overview, skimmed milk for human consumption (***) France, ****-****, in €/tons Source: ****

The graph above compares prices for powdered milk, and looks at two sub-categories: skimmed milk and whole milk (***). 

For both products, prices have increased. In ****, whole milk was priced at €*,***/ton and whole milk at €*,***/ton. This is an ...

4.3 An industry grappling with scandals

For many, powder as a derivative of milk is already controversial, and many clients prefer the natural product over its alternative form. One reason for this is the fact that the powdered milk industry has been subject to a number of scandals in the recent years.

**** saw the largest scandal ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Current Regulation

The framework for dairy (***) regulation in the EU is vast and continues to be dynamic. An overview of all updates, the lastest changes and an overview of all the laws can be found here.

Regulation on milk powder is also strict.

For EU members, the following rules apply:

Commission Regulation (***) No ****/**** ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Arla Foods
  • Laïta Regilait
  • Even Groupe
  • Lactalis Groupe
  • Sodiaal Groupe (Coopérative)
  • Sill Entreprises
  • Nümi

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Taille de marché du lait en poudre
  • Volumes de production par zone géographique
  • Taille de marché de la fabrication d'autres produits laitiers (NAF 10.51D)
  • Nombre de naissances
  • Consommation moyenne de lait par enfant (3 à 17 ans)
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Latest news

Breton company Sill ready to take over Knorr liquid soups - 01/03/2024
  • Sill Entreprises generates sales of 640 million euros.
  • Its dairy business accounts for 400 million euros in sales.
  • The rest of its activities, including soups, account for 240 million euros, divided equally between frozen products and the vegetable business.
  • Sill's liquid soup brand, La Potagère, generates sales of 15 million euros.
  • Sill will hold second place in the French industrial soups market, with sales of over 65 million euros, while market leader Liebig has sales of 150 million euros.
  • The market for liquid soups fell by 7% in volume in 2023.
  • Sill employs 1,700 people at 9 sites, mainly in Brittany.
A2S and Sovéfrais merge to form So Breizh | A2S and Sovéfrais merge to form So Breizh - 01/03/2024 Even Distribution merges two companies, SovéFrais and A2S, to create So Breizh. So Breizh is based in two locations: Ploudaniel (Finistère) and Kervignac (Morbihan). The company specializes in the distribution of fresh and frozen produce. The Even Distribution cooperative relies on Krill, a network of 8 SME suppliers, including Gastronomie Service, Gel 43, Prenot Guinard and So Breizh. So Breizh has two order preparation warehouses, 7 delivery outlets and a fresh meat cutting plant. The company serves 5,000 catering and convenience store customers. So Breizh has sales of 97 million euros.
Suppliers refuse to accept Lactalis' proposed milk price increase - 05/02/2024
  • - The price revised in January by Lactalis is 405 euros per 1000 liters, increased to 420 euros per 1000 liters in 38/32 for February.
  • - Taking all premiums into account, the remuneration paid to producers was 460 euros per 1000 liters for the first two months of the year.
  • - Unell, which represents over 4,000 dairy farms, delivers over 2 billion liters of milk to Lactalis.
Président, the billionaire brand that shaped the destiny of Lactalis - 13/11/2023
  • President brand sales: 3 billion euros
  • Brand age: 55 years
  • Increase in Camembert production in ten years: from 60,000 to 250,000 units
  • Current Camembert production: 500,000 units
  • Main production site: Domfront plant in the Orne region of France
  • Camembert price: less than 2 euros
  • Percentage of brand volume sold under private label: one-third in France and worldwide
  • Number of plants producing Président products outside France: over thirty.
Nūmi, the biotech company that invents a cellular substitute for infant milk - 09/11/2023
  • Nūmi is a start-up offering an innovative alternative solution: milk produced by cell culture.
  • Nūmi's technology involves taking cells from mammary glands, placing them in a culture medium to proliferate, and then recovering the milk produced.
  • Nūmi is the result of a meeting between Eden Banon-Lagrange, formerly of Entrepreneur First, and Eugénie Pezé-Heidsieck, a specialist in cell biology.
  • The market for milk produced by cell culture is in its embryonic stage, with Danone as one of the main interested parties.
  • Nūmi was founded in 2023 and is currently in the R&D phase.
  • The start-up has raised three million euros in pre-seed funding from Investors Heartcore Capital, HCVC and Financière Saint-James.
  • Nūmi plans to increase staff to six
  • The start-up plans to develop a first product for infants aged 0-6 months and sell it to dairy and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Nūmi plans to move quickly towards industrialization and is considering raising further funds.
  • The start-up is primarily targeting the American market, due to shorter maternity leave than in Europe and authorities more open to cell biology.
Lactalis: portrait of Emmanuel Besnier, one of France's most secretive bosses - 15/10/2023
  • Sales 2022: 28.3 billion euros, Net income: 384 million euros
  • Number of employees: 85,000 worldwide
  • Number of dairies and cheese factories: 272 in 51 countries, including 66 in France
  • Quantity of milk collected: 22.6 billion liters worldwide
  • Breakdown of sales by product: cheese (40%), milk (19%), ultra-fresh (14%), butter and cream (12%), ingredients and nutrition (9%), other (6%)
  • Major acquisitions
    • Bridel in 1990,
    • nestlé's Roquefort cellars in 1992,
    • Galbani in 2006,
    • Parmalat in 2011,Parmalat acquisition cost: 4.5 billion euros.
    • l'Etoile, Stonyfield and Siggi's cheese factories in 2018,
    • kraft-Heinz cheese business in 2020,
    • Ambrosi in 2023.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Arla Foods
Laïta Regilait
Even Groupe
Lactalis Groupe
Sodiaal Groupe (Coopérative)
Sill Entreprises

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