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Guernsey Dairy milk still number one for islanders

26 May 2020

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More than 1,600 local households took part in the study by Island Global Research. They were asked about their consumption of milk and alternative products, as well as the importance of the dairy industry. Similar studies were carried out in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The new survey found that Guernsey Dairy's products were well regarded and the business itself has loyal support from islanders. Although households generally consume less milk than in the past, the proportion buying full cream or low fat varieties has remained fairly constant.

However fewer households are now consuming skimmed milk, which coincides with an increase in availability of plant-based drinks and other alternatives.

Overall islanders recognised the wider importance of the Dairy in maintaining the local countryside.

The decline in milk sales is thought to be driven by a combination of longer shelf life, changes in consumers buying habits, and an increase in plant based alternatives.

  • 89% of households regularly consume Guernsey Diary milk (down from 97% in 2015), and 85% rated the quality as 'excellent'.
  • Low-fat milk is the most popular product, regularly consumed by 73% of households.  26% consume skimmed milk, 16% full-cream and 3% organic.
  • 83% felt strongly that Guernsey milk should be produced on island. Only 18% of households were unhappy paying a premium to support the local dairy industry. 
  • 77% agreed that the dairy industry is essential to the maintenance of the island's traditional, and familiar, rural landscape. 
  • 27% of households report drinking less Guernsey Dairy milk than five years ago, while 15% said they drink more.
  • A third of households buy some non-dairy or lactose free milk, which is in line with the UK[1]
  • Plant-based drinks (e.g. soya, nut or oat-based) were the most popular alternative, being consumed by three out of ten households. 6% buy lactose free milk, and 2% goat's milk.
  • 90% of households who consume 'block' butter and 78% who buy cream choose Guernsey Dairy's products.
  • Half of all households who regularly eat cheese and four out of ten who have ice cream buy Guernsey Dairy's products. 

Andrew Tabel, general manager of Guernsey Dairy said: "The data gives us a thorough insight into consumer trends, not only of the consumption of our dairy products and non-dairy alternatives but also general views of the industry.

"One particular area of interest was understanding the reasons for choosing milk alternatives and consumers attitudes towards dairy products. Over a four-year period, there has been a small reduction in the percentage of households who regularly consume Guernsey Dairy milk; however, encouragingly our market share remains extremely high, with nine out of 10 households regularly buying our milk. 

"The survey results also suggest sales of skimmed milk have been displaced by milk alternatives, which is in line with reported UK trends."

A full copy of the IGR survey can be found


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