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Indians cut down on milk purchases or switch to cheaper options as price rise, finds survey

LocalCircles survey results come two weeks after dairy brands, including leading milk suppliers like Amul and Mother Dairy, had increased the price of their milk by Rs 2 per litre.

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New Delhi: One in three households in the country have cut down on the purchase of milk or switched to cheaper alternatives after the rise in the price of dairy products two weeks ago, a survey has found.

The poll, conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles, showed that 6 per cent of all the respondents have “switched to a lower cost brand or local supply source”, while another 4 per cent have moved to a cheaper alternative of the same brand. However, one in five respondents have cut down on the quantity of milk they bought, after the price rise.

The survey also indicated that 68 per cent — out of 10,685 consumers — continue to buy the “same quantity and brand” of milk by paying the increased amount.

The findings come after dairy brands, including leading milk suppliers like Amul and Mother Dairy, had increased the price of their milk by Rs 2 per litre on 17 August.

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells milk and milk products under the brand name ‘Amul’, had said the price rise was done due to an increase in the “overall cost of operation and production” of milk.

“The cattle feeding cost alone has increased to approximately 20 per cent compared to last year. Considering the rise in input costs, our member unions have also increased farmers’ prices in the range of 8-9 per cent over previous year,” the GCMMF said in a statement on 17 August, after the price hike.

Type of milk

While trying to understand the type of milk households mostly buy, the community platform asked its respondents “what is the type of milk that you purchase for the majority of your household consumption”.

The poll found that out of the 10,522 respondents, only 2 per cent were buying tetra packs — which have a longer shelf life and are more expensive. However, a staggering 72 per cent of respondents bought milk packaged in plastic pouches.

Only 26 per cent of the respondents relied either on bottled milk from local farms/bottling units or unpackaged milk from local vendors.

The poll received 21,000 responses from over 311 districts: 69 per cent of the respondents were men while 31 per cent were women.

“After hundreds of complaints were received from citizens on LocalCircles about the rising milk prices, LocalCircles decided to conduct a national survey to understand how households were coping with rising milk prices,” the platform said in its report.


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