Indian dairy Industry - a profile

Today, India is 'The Oyster' of the global dairy industry. It offers opportunities galore to entrepreneurs worldwide, who wish to capitalize on one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets for milk and milk products. A bagful of 'pearls' awaits the international dairy processor in India. The Indian dairy industry is rapidly growing, trying to keep pace with the galloping progress around the world. As he expands his overseas operations to India many profitable options await him. He may transfer technology, sign joint ventures or use India as a sourcing center for regional exports. The liberalization of the Indian economy beckons to MNC's and foreign investors alike.

India’s dairy sector is expected to triple its production in the next 10 years in view of expanding potential for export to Europe and the West. Moreover with WTO regulations expected to come into force in coming years all the developed countries which are among big exporters today would have to withdraw the support and subsidy to their domestic milk products sector. Also India today is the lowest cost producer of per litre of milk in the world, at 27 cents, compared with the U.S' 63 cents, and Japan’s $2.8 dollars. Also to take advantage of this lowest cost of milk production and increasing production in the country multinational companies are planning to expand their activities here. Some of these milk producers have already obtained quality standard certificates from the authorities. This will help them in marketing their products in foreign countries in processed form.

The urban market for milk products is expected to grow at an accelerated pace of around 33% per annum to around Rs.43,500 crores by year 2005. This growth is going to come from the greater emphasis on the processed foods sector and also by increase in the conversion of milk into milk products. By 2005, the value of Indian dairy produce is expected to be Rs 10,00,000 million. Presently the market is valued at around Rs7,00,000mn


India with 134mn cows and 125mn buffaloes, has the largest population of cattle in the world. Total cattle population in the country as on October'00 stood at 313mn. More than fifty percent of the buffaloes and twenty percent of the cattle in the world are found in India and most of these are milch cows and milch buffaloes.

Indian dairy sector contributes the large share in agricultural gross domestic products. Presently there are around 70,000 village dairy cooperatives across the country. The co-operative societies are federated into 170 district milk producers unions, which is turn has 22-state cooperative dairy federation. Milk production gives employment to more than 72mn dairy farmers. In terms of total production, India is the leading producer of milk in the world followed by USA. The milk production in 1999-00 is estimated at 78mn MT as compared to 74.5mn MT in the previous year. This production is expected to increase to 81mn MT by 2000-01. Of this total produce of 78mn cows' milk constitute 36mn MT while rest is from other cattle.

While world milk production declined by 2 per cent in the last three years, according to FAO estimates, Indian production has increased by 4 per cent. The milk production in India accounts for more than 13% of the total world output and 57% of total Asia's production. The top five milk producing nations in the world are India ,USA, Russia, Germany and France.

Although milk production has grown at a fast pace during the last three decades (courtesy: Operation Flood), milk yield per animal is very low. The main reasons for the low yield are

  • Lack of use of scientific practices in milching.
  • Inadequate availability of fodder in all seasons.
  • Unavailability of veterinary health services.

Milk Yield comparison:


Milk Yield (Kgs per year)







New Zealand






World (Average)


Source: Export prospects for agro-based industries, World Trade Centre, Mumbai.

Production of milk in India


Production in million MT



























E= estimated
T= target / expected

Source: DFPI, Annual Report-1999-2000

World's major milk producers

(Million MTs)



1998-99 ( Approx.)































New Zealand













Operation Flood


The transition of the Indian milk industry from a situation of net import to that of surplus has been led by the efforts of National Dairy Development Board's Operation Flood. programme under the aegis of the former Chairman of the board Dr. Kurien.

Launched in 1970, Operation Flood has led to the modernization of India's dairy sector and created a strong network for procurement processing and distribution of milk by the co-operative sector. Per capita availability of milk has increased from 132 gm per day in 1950 to over 220 gm per day in 1998. The main thrust of Operation Flood was to organize dairy cooperatives in the milkshed areas of the village, and to link them to the four Metro cities, which are the main markets for milk. The efforts undertaken by NDDB have not only led to enhanced production, improvement in methods of processing and development of a strong marketing network, but have also led to the emergence of dairying as an important source of employment and income generation in the rural areas. It has also led to an improvement in yields, longer lactation periods, shorter calving intervals, etc through the use of modern breeding techniques. Establishment of milk collection centers, and chilling centers has enhanced life of raw milk and enabled minimization of wastage due to spoilage of milk. Operation Flood has been one of the world's largest dairy development programme and looking at the success achieved in India by adopting the co-operative route, a few other countries have also replicated the model of India's White Revolution.

Per Capita availability of milk
































E= Estimated
P= Provisional

* Operation flood was launched in 1970

Fresh Milk

Over 50% of the milk produced in India is buffalo milk, and 45% is cow milk. The buffalo milk contribution to total milk produce is expected to be 54% in 2000. Buffalo milk has 3.6% protein, 7.4% fat, 5.5% milk sugar, 0.8% ash and 82.7% water whereas cow milk has 3.5% protein, 3.7% fat, 4.9% milk sugar, 0.7% ash and 87% water. While presently (for the year 2000) the price of Buffalo milk is ruling at $261-313 per MT that of cow is ruling at $170-267 per MT. Fresh pasteurized milk is available in packaged form. However, a large part of milk consumed in India is not pasteurized, and is sold in loose form by vendors. Sterilized milk is scarcely available in India.

Packaged milk can be divided according to fat content as follows,

Whole (full cream) milk - 6% fat
Standardized (toned) milk - 4.5% fat
Doubled toned (low fat) milk - 3% fat
Another category of milk, which has a small market is flavoured milk.

The Indian Market - A Pyramid

Consumer Habits And Practices

Milk has been an integral part of Indian food for centuries. The per capita availability of milk in India has grown from 172 gm per person per day in 1972 to 182gm in 1992 and 203 gm in 1998-99.This is expected to increase to 212gms for 1999-00. However a large part of the population cannot afford milk. At this per capita consumption it is below the world average of 285 gm and even less than 220 gm recommended by the Nutritional Advisory Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

There are regional disparities in production and consumption also. The per capita availability in the north is 278 gm, west 174 gm, south 148 gm and in the east only 93 gm per person per day. This disparity is due to concentration of milk production in some pockets and high cost of transportation. Also the output of milk in cereal growing areas is much higher than elsewhere which can be attributed to abundant availability of fodder, crop residues, etc which have a high food value for milch animals.

In India about 46 per cent of the total milk produced is consumed in liquid form and 47 per cent is converted into traditional products like cottage butter, ghee, paneer, khoya, curd, malai, etc. Only 7 per cent of the milk goes into the production of western products like milk powders, processed butter and processed cheese. The remaining 54% is utilized for conversion to milk products. Among the milk products manufactured by the organized sector some of the prominent ones are ghee, butter, cheese, ice creams, milk powders, malted milk food, condensed milk infants foods etc. Of these ghee alone accounts for 85%.

It is estimated that around 20% of the total milk produced in the country is consumed at producer-household level and remaining is marketed through various cooperatives, private dairies and vendors. Also of the total produce more than 50% is procured by cooperatives and other private dairies.

While for cooperatives of the total milk procured 60% is consumed in fluid form and rest is used for manufacturing processed value added dairy products; for private dairies only 45% is marketed in fluid form and rest is processed into value added dairy products like ghee, makhan etc.

Still, several consumers in urban areas prefer to buy loose milk from vendors due to the strong perception that loose milk is fresh. Also, the current level of processing and packaging capacity limits the availability of packaged milk.

The preferred dairy animal in India is buffalo unlike the majority of the world market, which is dominated by cow milk. As high as 98% of milk is produced in rural India, which caters to 72% of the total population, whereas the urban sector with 28% population consumes 56% of total milk produced. Even in urban India, as high as 83% of the consumed milk comes from the unorganized traditional sector.

Presently only 12% of the milk market is represented by packaged and branded pasteurized milk, valued at about Rs. 8,000 crores. Quality of milk sold by unorganized sector however is inconsistent and so is the price across the season in local areas. Also these vendors add water and caustic soda, which makes the milk unhygienic.

India's dairy market is multi-layered. It's shaped like a pyramid with the base made up of a vast market for low-cost milk. The bulk of the demand for milk is among the poor in urban areas whose individual requirement is small, maybe a glassful for use as whitener for their tea and coffee. Nevertheless, it adds up to a sizable volume - millions of litres per day. In the major cities lies an immense growth potential for the modern sector. Presently, barely 778 out of 3,700 cities and towns are served by its milk distribution network, dispensing hygienically packed wholesome, quality pasteurized milk. According to one estimate, the packed milk segment would double in the next five years, giving both strength and volume to the modern sector. The narrow tip at the top is a small but affluent market for western type milk products.

Growing Volumes

The effective milk market is largely confined to urban areas, inhabited by over 25 per cent of the country's population. An estimated 50 per cent of the total milk produced is consumed here. By the end of the twentieth century, the urban population is expected to increase by more than 100 million to touch 364 million in 2000 a growth of about 40 per cent. The expected rise in urban population would be a boon to Indian dairying. Presently, the organized sector both cooperative and private and the traditional sector cater to this market.

The consumer access has become easier with the information revolution. The number of households with TV has increased from 23 million in 1989 to 45 million in 1995. About 34 per cent of these households in urban India have access to satellite television channel.

Potential for further growth

Of the three A's of marketing - availability, acceptability and affordability, Indian dairying is already endowed with the first two. People in India love to drink milk. Hence no efforts are needed to make it acceptable. Its availability is not a limitation either, because of the ample scope for increasing milk production, given the prevailing low yields from dairy cattle. It leaves the third vital marketing factor affordability. How to make milk affordable for the large majority with limited purchasing power? That is essence of the challenge. One practical way is to pack milk in small quantities of 250 ml or less in polythene sachets. Already, the glass bottle for retailing milk has given way to single-use sachets which are more economical. Another viable alternative is to sell small quantities of milk powder in mini-sachets, adequate for two cups of tea or coffee.

Marketing Strategy for 2000 AD

Two key elements of marketing strategy for 2000 AD are: Focus on strong brands and, product mix expansion to include UHT milk, cheese, ice creams and spreads. The changing marketing trends will see the shift from generic products to the packaged quasi, regular and premium brands. The national brands will gradually edge out the regional brands or reduce their presence. The brand image can do wonders to a product's marketing as is evident from the words of Perfume Princess Coco Channel: In the factory, we pack perfume; in the market, we sell hope!

Emerging Dairy Markets

  • Food service institutional market: It is growing at double the rate of consumer market
  • Defense market: An important growing market for quality products at reasonable prices
  • Ingredients market: A boom is forecast in the market of dairy products used as raw material in pharmaceutical and allied industries
  • Parlour market: The increasing away-from-home consumption trend opens new vistas for ready-to-serve dairy products which would ride piggyback on the fast food revolution sweeping the urban India.

India, with her sizable dairy industry growing rapidly and on the path of modernization, would have a place in the sun of prosperity for many decades to come. The one index to the statement is the fact that the projected total milk output over the next 15 years (1995-2010) would exceed 1457.6 million tonnes which is twice the total production of the past 15 years!

Penetration of milk products

Western table spreads such as butter, margarine and jams are not very popular in India. All India penetration of butter/ margarine is only 4%. This is also largely represented by urban areas, where penetration is higher at 9%. In rural areas, butter/ margarine have penetrated in 2.1% of households only. The use of these products in the large metros is higher, with penetration at 15%.

Penetration of cheese is almost nil in rural areas and negligible in the urban areas. Per capita consumption even among the cheese-consuming households is a poor 2.4kg pa as compared to over 20kg in USA. The lower penetration is due to peculiar food habits, relatively expensive products and also non-availability in many parts of the country. Butter, margarine and cheese products are mainly manufactured by organized sector.

Similarly, penetration of ghee is highest in medium sized towns at 37.2% compared to 31.7% in all urban areas and 21.3% in all rural areas. The all India penetration of ghee is 24.1%. In relative terms, penetration of ghee is significantly higher in North and West, which are milk surplus regions. North accounts for 57% of ghee consumption and West for 23%, South & East together account for the balance 20%. A large part of ghee is made at home and by small/ cottage industry from milk. The relative share of branded products in this category is very low at around 1-2%.

Milk powder and condensed milk have not been able to garner any significant consumer acceptance in India as indicated by a very low 4.7% penetration. The penetration is higher at 8.1% in urban areas and lower at 3.5% in rural areas. Within urban areas, it is relatively higher in medium sized towns at 8.5% compared to 7.7% in a large metros.

Market Size And Growth

Market size for milk (sold in loose/ packaged form) is estimated to be 36mn MT valued at Rs470bn. The market is currently growing at round 4% pa in volume terms. The milk surplus states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The manufacturing of milk products is concentrated in these milk surplus States. The top 6 states viz. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat together account for 58% of national production.

Milk production grew by a mere 1% pa between 1947 and 1970. Since the early 70's, under Operation Flood, production growth increased significantly averaging over 5% pa.

About 75% of milk is consumed at the household level which is not a part of commercial dairy industry. Loose milk has a larger market in India as it is perceived to be fresh by most consumers. In reality however, it poses a higher risk of adulteration and contamination.

The production of milk products, i.e. milk products including infant milk food, malted food, condensed milk & cheese stood at 3.07 lakh MT in 1999. Production of milk powder including infant milk-food has risen to 2.25 lakh MT in 1999, whereas that of malted food is at 65000 MT. Cheese and condensed milk production stands at 5000 and 11000 MT respectively in the same year.

(Source: Annual Report 1999-2000, DFPI)

Major Players

The packaged milk segment is dominated by the dairy cooperatives. Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) is the largest player. All other local dairy cooperatives have their local brands (For e.g. Gokul, Warana in Maharashtra, Saras in Rajasthan, Verka in Punjab, Vijaya in Andhra Pradesh, Aavin in Tamil Nadu, etc). Other private players include J K Dairy, Heritage Foods, Indiana Dairy, Dairy Specialties, etc. Amrut Industries, once a leading player in the sector has turned bankrupt and is facing liquidation.

Packaging Technology

Milk was initially sold door-to-door by the local milkman. When the dairy co-operatives initially started marketing branded milk, it was sold in glass bottles sealed with foil. Over the years, several developments in packaging media have taken place. In the early 80's, plastic pouches replaced the bottles. Plastic pouches made transportation and storage very convenient, besides reducing costs. Milk packed in plastic pouches/bottles have a shelf life of just 1-2 days , that too only if refrigerated. In 1996, Tetra Packs were introduced in India. Tetra Packs are aseptic laminate packs made of aluminum, paper, board and plastic. Milk stored in tetra packs and treated under Ultra High Temperature (UHT) technique can be stored for four months without refrigeration. Most of the dairy co-operatives in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Rajasthan sell milk in tetra packs. However tetra packed milk is costlier by Rs5-7 compared to plastic pouches. In 1999-00 Nestle launched its UHT milk. Amul too re-launched its Amul Taaza brand of UHT milk. The UHT milk market is expected to grow at a rate of more than 10-12% in coming years.

Export Potential

India has the potential to become one of the leading players in milk and milk product exports. Locational advantage : India is located amidst major milk deficit countries in Asia and Africa. Major importers of milk and milk products are Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, UAE, Oman and other gulf countries, all located close to India.

Low Cost Of Production : Milk production is scale insensitive and labour intensive. Due to low labour cost, cost of production of milk is significantly lower in India.

Concerns in export competitiveness are
Quality : Significant investment has to be made in milk procurement, equipments, chilling and refrigeration facilities. Also, training has to be imparted to improve the quality to bring it up to international standards.

Productivity : To have an exportable surplus in the long-term and also to maintain cost competitiveness, it is imperative to improve productivity of Indian cattle.

There is a vast market for the export of traditional milk products such as ghee, paneer, shrikhand, rasgolas and other ethnic sweets to the large number of Indians scattered all over the world

India's exports of milk products

(Quantity, M T.: Value, Rs. million)










Skimmed milk powder







Milk and Milk Food for babies







Milk cream







Sweetened condensed milk














Ghee/Butter/Butter oil








(a) Fresh







(b) Processed







(c) Other














What does the Indian Dairy Industry has to Offer to Foreign Investors?

India is a land of opportunity for investors looking for new and expanding markets. Dairy food processing holds immense potential for high returns. Growth prospects in the dairy food sector are termed healthy, according to various studies on the subject.

The basic infrastructural elements for a successful enterprise are in place.

  • Key elements of free market system
  • raw material (milk) availability
  • an established infrastructure of technology
  • supporting manpower

An entrepreneur's participation is likely to provide attractive returns on the investment in a fast growing market such as India, along with an export potential in the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and other countries in the region.

Among several areas of potential participation by NRIs and foreign investors, the following list outlines a few promising opportunities:


  • Dairy cattle breeding of the finest buffaloes and hybrid cows
  • Milk yield increase with recombinant somatotropin
  • Recombinant chymosin, acceptable to vegetarian consumers
  • Dairy cultures, probiotics, dairy biologics, enzymes and coloring materials for food processing
  • Fermentation derived foods and industrial products alcohol, citric acid, lysine, flavor preparations, etc.
  • Biopreservative ingredients based on dairy fermentation, viz., Nisin, pediococcin, acidophilin, bulgarican contained in dairy powders.

Dairy/food processing equipment:

Potential exists for manufacturing and marketing of cost competitive food processing machinery of world-class quality.

Food packaging equipment:

Opportunities lie in the manufacturing of both machinery and packaging materials that help develop brand loyalty and a clear edge in the marketing of dairy foods.

Distribution channels:

For refrigerated and frozen food distribution, a world class cold chain would help in providing quality assurance to the consumers around the region.


There is scope for standardizing and upgrading food retailing in major metropolitan cities to meet the shopping needs of a vast middle class. This area includes grocery stores of European and North American quality, warehousing and distribution.


Product development:

  • Dairy foods can be manufactured and packaged for export to countries where Indian food enjoys basic acceptance. The manufacturing may be carried out in contract plants in India. An option to market the products in collaboration with local establishments or entrepreneurs can also be explored. Products exhibiting potential include typical indigenous dairy foods either not available in foreign countries or products whose authenticity may be questionable. Gulabjamuns, Burfi, Peda, Rasagollas, and a host of other Indian sweets have good business prospects.
  • Products typically foreign to India but indigenous to other countries could also be developed for export. Such products can be manufactured in retail package sizes and could be produced from milk of sheep, goats and camel. Certain products are characteristically produced from milk of a particular species. For example, Feta cheese is used in significant tonnage, in Iran. Sheep milk is traditionally used for authentic Feta cheese. Accordingly, India's goat and sheep herds can be utilized for the manufacture of such authentic products.

Ingredient manufacture:

Export markets for commodities like dry milk, condensed milk, ghee and certain cheese varieties are well established. These items are utilized as ingredients in foreign countries. These markets can be expanded to include value-added ingredients like aseptically packaged cheese sauce and dehydrated cheese powders.

  • Cheese sauce: Canned cheese sauce is made from real cheese to which milk, whey, modified food starch, vegetable oil, colorings and spices may be added. Cheese sauce is useful in kitchens for the preparation of omelet, sandwiches, entrees, and soups. In addition, cheese sauce is used as a topping on potatoes and vegetables and may be incorporated in pasta dishes.
  • Cheese powders: Cheese powders are formulated for dusting or smearing of popular snacks like potato chips, crackers, etc. They impart flavor and may be blended with spices.

With the globalization of food items, an opportunity should open up for food service and institutional markets.

Technology-driven manufacturing units:

These plants would fulfil an essential need by providing a centralized and specialized facility for hire by the units which cannot justify capital investment but do need such services. Potential areas for state-of-the-art contract-pack units may conceivably specialize in cheese slicing, or dicing line, cheese packaging, butter printing, and aseptic packaged fluid products.

Training centers for continuing education:

NRIs could set up technology transfer and updating centers for conducting seminars and workshops - catering to the needs of workers at all levels of the dairy industry. Here technical, marketing and management topics can be offered to ensure that the manpower continues to acquire the latest know-how of their respective fields.


The entrepreneurs need powerful tools to implement their plans. Appropriate investment and involvement by NRIs can serve as a catalyst for India's dairy food industry leading to exploration of business potential in domestic and export trade. Risk factors must be identified and managed by in-depth study of chosen areas so that chances of rewards are maximized under the current liberalization climate.

Indian (traditional) Milk Products

There are a large variety of traditional Indian milk products such as

Makkhan - unsalted butter.
Ghee - butter oil prepared by heat clarification, for longer shelf life.
Kheer - a sweet mix of boiled milk, sugar and rice.
Basundi - milk and sugar boiled down till it thickens.
Rabri - sweetened cream.
Dahi - a type of curd.
Lassi - curd mixed with water and sugar/ salt.
Channa/Paneer - milk mixed with lactic acid to coagulate.
Khoa - evaporated milk, used as a base to produce sweet meats.

The market for indigenous based milk food products is difficult to estimate as most of these products are manufactured at home or in small cottage industries catering to local areas.

Consumers while purchasing dairy products look for freshness, quality, taste and texture, variety and convenience. Products like Dahi and sweets like Kheer, Basundi, Rabri are perishable products with a shelf life of less than a day. These products are therefore manufactured and sold by local milk and sweet shops. There are several such small shops within the vicinity of residential areas. Consumer loyalty is built by consistent quality, taste and freshness. There are several sweetmeat shops, which have built a strong brand franchise, and have several branches located in various parts of a city.

Branding Of Traditional Milk Products

Among the traditional milk products, ghee is the only product, which is currently marketed, in branded form. main ghee brands are Sagar, MilkMan (Britannia), Amul (GCMMF), Aarey (Mafco Ltd), Vijaya (AP Dairy Development Cooperative Federation), Verka ( Punjab Dairy Cooperative), Everyday (Nestle) and Farm Fresh (Wockhardt).

With increasing urbanization and changing consumer preferences, there is possibility of large scale manufacture of indigenous milk products also. The equipments in milk manufacturing have versatility and can be adapted for several products. For instance, equipments used to manufacture yogurt also can be adapted for large scale production of Indian curd products (dahi and lassi). Significant research work has been done on dairy equipments under the aegis of NDDB.

Mafco Limited sells Lassi under the Aarey brand and flavoured milk under the Energee franchise (in the Western region, mainly in Mumbai). Britannia has launched flavored milk in various flavors in tetra packs.

GCMMF has also made a beginning in branding of other traditional milk products with the launch of packaged Paneer under the Amul brand. It has also created a new umbrella brand "Amul Mithaee", for a range of ethnic Indian sweets that are proposed to be launched The first new product Amul Mithaee Gulabjamun has already been launched in major Indian markets.

Western Milk Products

Western milk products such as butter, cheese, yogurt have gained popularity in the Indian market only during the last few years. However consumption has been expanding with increasing urbanization.


Most Indians prefer to use home made white butter (makkhan) for reasons of taste and affordability. Most of the branded butter is sold in the towns and cities. The major brands are Amul, Vijaya, Sagar, Nandini and Aarey. Amul is the leading national brand while the other players have greater shares in their local markets. The latest entrant in the butter market has been Britannia. Britannia has the advantages of a wide distribution reach and a strong brand recall. Priced at par with the Amul brand, it is expected to give stiff competition to the existing players. In 1999-00 the butter production is estimated at 4 lakh MT of this only 45K MT is in the white form used for table purposes rest all is in the yellow form.


The present market for cheese in India is estimated at about 9,000 tonnes and is growing at the rate of about 15% per annum. Cheese is mainly consumed in the urban areas. The four metro cities alone account for more than 50% of consumption . Mumbai is the largest market (accounting for 30% of cheese sold in the country), followed by Delhi (20%). Calcutta (7%) and Chennai (6%). Mumbai has a larger number of domestic consumers, compared to Delhi where the bulk institutional segment (mainly hotels) is larger.


Demand for various types of cheese in the Indian market


Type of cheese

% of total consumption



Cheese spread









The major players are Amul, Britannia, and Dabon International dominating the market. Other major brands were Vijaya, Verka and Nandini (all brands of various regional dairy cooperatives) and Vadilal. The heavy advertising and promotions being undertaken by these new entrants is expected to lead to strong 20% growth in the segment. Amul has also become more aggressive with launch of new variants such as Mozzarella cheese (used in Pizza), cheese powder, etc.

The entry of new players and increased marketing activity is expected to expand the market. All the major players are expanding their capacities

Capacity expansion in Cheese






Dynamix Group

Manufactures for Britannia


35 tons per day




20 tons per day



Andhra Pradesh

10 tons per day


Milk Powder

Milk powder are mainly of 2 types

  • Whole milk powder
  • Skimmed milk powder

Whole milk powder contains fat, as distinguished from skimmed milk powder, which is produced by removing fat from milk solids. Skimmed milk powder is preferred by diet conscious consumers. Dairy whiteners contain more fat than skimmed milk powder but less compared to whole milk powder. Dairy whiteners are popular milk substitute for making tea, coffee etc. The penetration of these products in milk abundant regions is driven by convenience and non perishable nature (longer shelf life) of the product.

Dairy sector of advanced nations export milk products with a subsidy of $ 1000 per tonne with a level of subsidy more than 60 % of the price of milk powder produced in India, this has led to large scale imports of milk powder both in whole and skimmed form. To protect the domestic sector from these subsidized imports the central government has recently increased the basic import duty on all imports of milk powder more than 10000 MT to 60% from 15%. For imports less than 10000 MT the basic customs duty has been left unchanged at 15%.

In 1999-00 India is estimated to have imported about 18,000 tonnes of milk powder against a total estimated production of 2.40 Lakh MTs. In 2000-01 India is expected to export 10000 MT of skimmed milk powder due to rise in international prices to $2300 per MT from last year's levels of $1400 per MT. These expectations are based on the strong demand from Russia, East Asia and Latin America, and also on tightening of supply in EU, which accounts for 75% of the annual global Skimmed Milk Powder exports.

Major Players

Milk Powder/Dairy Whiteners : Major skimmed milk brands are Sagar (GCMMF) and Nandini (Karnataka Milk Federation), Amul Full Cream milk powder is a whole milk powder brand.

Leading brands in the dairy whitener segment are Nestle's Everyday, GCMMF's Amulya, Dalmia Industry's Sapan, Kwality Dairy India's KreamKountry, Wockhardt's Farm Fresh and Britannia's MilkMan Dairy Whitener.

Condensed Milk

The condensed milk market has grown from 9000 MT in 1998 to 11000 MT in 1999. Condensed milk is a popular ingredient used in home-made sweets and cakes. Nestle's Milkmaid is the leading brand with more than 55% market share. The only other competitor is GCMMF's Amul.

Value addition in milk powder - Infant Foods

Nestle is the market leader in the segment. This is a category where brand loyalties are very strong as mothers want the best for their babies. Heinz is the only other significant competitor to Nestle in this segment. Nestle's Cerelac and Nestum together have around 80% market share and Heinz's Farex has close to 18% share. Wockhardt is a relatively new entrant with its First Food brand. Wockhardt also proposes to launch a new baby food Easum containing moong (moong is one of the easily digestible pulses). The Easum brand will directly compete with Nestle's Nestum (made from rice).

In infant formula also Nestle's Lactogen formula and Lactogen standard formula are the leading brands with around 75% market share. Other brands are Heinz's Lactodex Farex, Wockhardt's Raptakos, and Amul's Amulspray

Regulatory Framework

The dairy industry was de-licensed in 1991 with a view to encourage private investment and flow of capital and new technology in the segment. Although de-licensing attracted a large number of players, concerns on issues like excess capacity, sale of contaminated/ substandard quality of milk etc induced the Government to promulgate the MMPO (Milk and Milk Products Order) in 1992. Milk and Milk Products Order (MMPO) regulates milk and milk products production in the country. The order requires no permission for units handling less than 10,000 litres of liquid milk per day or milk solids up to 500 tpa. MMPO prescribes State registration to plants producing between 10,000 to 75,000 litres of milk per day or manufacturing milk products containing between 500 to 3,750 tonnes of milk solids per year. Plants producing over 75,000 litres per day or more than 3,750 tonnes per year of milk solids have to be registered with the Central Government. The stringent regulations, government controls and licensing requirements for new capacities have restricted large Indian and MNC players from making significant investments in this product category. Most of the private sector players have restricted themselves to manufacture of value added milk products like baby food, dairy whiteners, condensed milk etc.

All the milk products except malted foods are covered in the category of industries for which foreign equity participation up to 51% is automatically allowed. Ice cream, which was earlier reserved for manufacturing in the small-scale sector, has now been de-reserved. As such, no license is required for setting up of large-scale production facilities for manufacture of ice cream.

Subsequent to de-canalization, exports of some milk based products are freely allowed provided these units comply with the compulsory inspection requirements of concerned agencies like: National Dairy Development Board, Export Inspection Council etc. Bureau of Indian standards has prescribed the necessary standards for almost all milk-based products, which are to be adhered to by the industry.

Proposal to Amend the MMPO

A proposal to raise the exemption limit for compulsory registration of dairy plants, from the present 10,000 litres a day to 20,000 litres, is being considered by the Animal Husbandry Department. The 75,000-litre limit is likely to be raised either to 100,000 litres or 125,000 litres in the amended order. The new order would also do away with the provision for re-registration.

Amul's secret of success

The system succeeded mainly because it provides an assured market at remunerative prices for producers' milk besides acting as a channel to market the production enhancement package. What's more, it does not disturb the agro-system of the farmers. It also enables the consumer an access to high quality milk and milk products. Contrary to the traditional system, when the profit of the business was cornered by the middlemen, the system ensured that the profit goes to the participants for their socio-economic upliftment and common good.

Looking back on the path traversed by Amul, the following features make it a pattern and model for emulation elsewhere. Amul has been able to:

  • Produce an appropriate blend of the policy makers farmers board of management and the professionals: each group appreciating its roles and limitations
  • Bring at the command of the rural milk producers the best of the technology and harness its fruit for betterment
  • Provide a support system to the milk producers without disturbing their agro-economic systems
  • Plough back the profits, by prudent use of men, material and machines, in the rural sector for the common good and betterment of the member producers and
  • Even though, growing with time and on scale, it has remained with the smallest producer members. In that sense, Amul is an example par excellence, of an intervention for rural change.

The Union looks after policy formulation, processing and marketing of milk, provision of technical inputs to enhance milk yield of animals, the artificial insemination service, veterinary care, better feeds and the like - all through the village societies.

The village society also facilitates the implementation of various production enhancement and member education programs undertaken by the Union. The staff of the village societies have been trained to undertake the veterinary first-aid and the artificial insemination activities on their own.

Amul's success: A model for other districts to follow.

Amul's success led to the creation of similar structures of milk producers in other districts of Gujarat. They drew on Amul's experience in project planning and execution. Thus the 'Anand Pattern' was followed not just in Kaira district but in Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Baroda and Surat districts also. Even before the Dairy Board of India was born, farmers and their leaders carried out empirical tests of the hypotheses that explained Amul's success. In these districts, milk producers and their leaders experienced significant commonalties and found easy and effortless ways to adapt Amul's gameplan to their respective areas. This led to the Creation of the National Dairy Development Board with the clear mandate of replicating the 'Anand pattern' in other parts of the country. Initially the pattern was followed for the dairy sector but at a later stage oilseeds, fruit and vegetables, salt, and tree sectors also benefited from it's success.


GCMMF: An Overview

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) is India's largest food products marketing organization. It is a state level apex body of milk cooperatives in Gujarat which aims to provide remunerative returns to the farmers and also serve the interest of consumers by providing quality products which are good value for money.



12 district cooperative milk producers' Union

No. of Producer Members:

2.12 million

No. of Village Societies:


Total Milk handling capacity:

6.1 million litres per day

Milk collection (Total - 1999-00):

1.59 billion litres

Milk collection (Daily Average 1999-00):

4.47 million litres

Milk Drying Capacity:

450 metric Tons per day


Cattle feed manufacturing Capacity: 1450 Mts per day


Sales Turnover


Rs (million)

US $ (in million)


























Major dairy products manufacturers

Some of the major dairy products manufacturers in the country:



Major Products

Nestle India Limited

Milkmaid,Cerelac, Lactogen, Milo, Everyday

Sweetened condensed milk, malted foods, milk powder and Dairy whitener

Milkfood Limited


Ghee, ice cream, and other milk products

SmithKline Beecham Limited

Horlicks, Maltova, Viva

Malted Milkfood, ghee, butter, powdered milk, milk fluid and other milk based baby foods.

Indodan Industries Limited


Condensed milk, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, dairy milk whitener, chilled and processed milk

Gujarat Co-operative milk Marketing Federation Limited


Butter, cheese and other milk products




H.J. Heinz Limited

Farex, Complan, Glactose, Bonniemix, Vitamilk

Infant Milkfood, malted Milkfood



Flavoured milk, cheese, Milk Powder, Ghee



Malted food

Future Prospects

India is the world's highest milk producer and all set to become the world's largest food factory. In celebration, Indian Dairy sector is now ready to invite NRIs and Foreign investors to find this country a place for the mammoth investment projects. Be it investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, or the merely curious – Indian Dairy sector has something for everyone.

Milk production is relatively efficient way of converting vegetable material into animal food. Dairy cows buffaloes goats and sheep can eat fodder and crop by products which are not eaten by humans. Yet the loss of nutrients energy and equipment required in milk handling inevitably make milk comparatively expensive food. Also if dairying is to play its part in rural development policies , the price to milk producers has to be remunerative. In a situation of increased international prices, low availabilities of food aid and foreign exchange constraints, large scale subsidization of milk conception will be difficult in the majority of developing countries.

Hence in the foreseeable future, in most of developing countries milk and milk products will not play the same roll in nutrition as in the affluent societies of developed countries. Effective demand will come mainly from middle and high income consumers in urban areas.

There are ways to mitigate the effects of unequal distribution of incomes. In Cuba where the Government attaches high priority to milk in its food and nutrition policy, all pre-school children receive a daily ration of almost a litre of milk fat the reduced price. Cheap milk and milk products are made available to certain other vulnerable groups, by milk products outside the rationing system are sold price which is well above the cost level. Until recently, most fresh milk in the big cities of China was a reserved for infants and hospitals, but with the increase in supply, rationing has been relaxed.

In other countries dairy industries have attempted to reach lower income consumers by variation of compositional quality or packaging and distribution methods or blending milk in vegetable ingredients in formula foods for vulnerable groups. For instance, pricing of products rich in butter fat or in more luxury packaging above cost level so as to enable sales of high protein milk products at a some what a reduced price has been widely practiced in developing countries. This policies need to be brought in Indian Dairy scenario.