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1 in 3 Indian households reduced milk consumption amid price rise concerns: Survey
New Delhi, Sep 3 - Rising prices of milk has led to one in three Indian households either downgrading brand or reducing consumption, says a survey.
Amid complaints on rising milk prices, LocalCircles -- a community social media platform --, conducted a survey to gather information on how the households are coping with it.
The survey, which covered 311 districts across the country, received over 21,000 responses of which 69 per cent were from men. Forty-one per cent of the respondents were from tier 1, 34 per cent from tier 2 and 25 per cent were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
In most Indian households, milk and milk products - curd, butter, ghee, buttermilk, etc., are among the most consumed food items. India is not only the largest milk producer but also the largest consumer of milk and milk products according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) "Dairy and Products Annual - 2021" report.
For the Indian consumers already struggling in a high food inflation scenario, which seemed to be improving, according to the last government data, an increase in milk prices by Rs 2 per litre from August 17 by most milk cooperatives is bad news. More so, since the leading milk and milk products brands like Amul had earlier in March raised the prices by Rs 2 per litre.
On coping with the price hike, 68 per cent of the consumers agreed to paying more for the same quantity and brand", while 6 per cent of the 10,685 have switched to a lower cost brand or local supply source. Another 4 four per cent have switched to a cheaper alternative of the same brand that they had been buying earlier. Though no respondent admitted to discontinuing buying milk, 20 per cent respondents admitted to "reducing the quantity".
LocalCircles also attempted to understand how people were buying milk. To the question, "what is the type of milk that you purchase for majority of your household consumption" found that 72 per cent out of the 10,522 respondents were buying milk packaged in plastic pouches of 500 ml or 1 litre, 12 per cent were buying bottled milk from local farms or bottling units, while 14 per cent consumers are buying unpackaged milk from local vendors. Only 2 per cent were buying tetra pack milk with longer shelf life, possibly because they are more expensive compared to milk packaged in pouches.
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