In recent times, there has been a steep rise in the popularity of UHT (ultra-high-temperature) processed milk all over the world. This is predominantly because of the lack of proper refrigeration space and equipment and long power outages in several countries around the world. Moreover, the high refrigeration costs in various other countries are pushing up the popularity of food items such as UHT milk that can last long without requiring refrigeration. Unlike regular milk which requires continuous refrigeration till consumption, this type of milk can be stored for as long as nine months without refrigeration.
The ability of the UHT milk to remain fresh for such a long period of time and without requiring continuous refrigeration makes it a highly popular food item, particularly in the developing countries that have a poor cold storage infrastructure. Additionally, the longer shelf life of the product is boosting its popularity amongst the people living in apartments, especially in the developing nations of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Moreover, the rising adoption of busier lifestyles is fueling the consumer demand for ready-to-eat/drink items, which is, in turn, propelling the advancement of the UHT milk market across the world.
In China, 60% of the total milk drinkers consume UHT milk these days, as per many reports and surveys. This share of UHT milk drinkers is predicted to rise further in the future years, mainly because of the rapidly increasing population of the country. The other major factors contributing to the surging sales of UHT milk are the increasing disposable income of people and the availability of affordable private-label UHT milk in numerous hypermarkets and supermarkets in several countries around the world.
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Because of the above-mentioned reasons, the consumption of UHT milk will increase tremendously in the coming years, which will, in turn, cause huge expansion of the global UHT milk market in the future. The market is categorized on the basis of segment into semi-skinned, skimmed, and whole. Out of these, the whole category recorded the highest volumetric growth in the market during the last few years. The largest consumers of whole milk were children in the age bracket (2 years and below). This is because this milk contains all the necessary nutrients required by a toddler for growing up properly.
Globally, the UHT milk market registered the highest volumetric growth in Europe in the years gone by, as per the findings of the market research firm, P&S Intelligence. This is ascribed to the high consumption of various dairy products and the high per capita consumption of milk in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and several other European countries. In addition to this, the easier production and distribution of this milk in the European nations in comparison to the other countries led to huge sales of this milk in this region in the past few years.
Therefore, it can be said with surety that the requirement for UHT milk will rise enormously all over the world in the forthcoming years, mainly because of the longer shelf life of this milk than regular milk and the lack of proper refrigeration space and facilities in various countries across the world.