Drinking Milk

Nearly 60% of consumers were pleased about price cuts

Three weeks into the milk price wars, most shoppers believe the mults are right to slash prices - despite concerns about the impact on farmers and animal welfare, new research has revealed.

Nearly 60% of 2,049 UK consumers polled by Harris Interactive agreed that cutting the price of four pints of milk to £1 was “good news” and ”supermarkets should do everything they can to keep prices low”. Just 14% disagreed and 24% were undecided.

The milk cuts proved especially popular with younger shoppers and households with children - 65% of 16 to 24-year-olds and those with children agreed with the cuts compared with 52% of those aged 55 plus.

Shoppers nevertheless expressed concern about the effect of price cuts on farmers and cow welfare. Fifty-four per cent were worried about the impact on farmers, and 41% were worried about cow welfare.

Ominously for the dairy industry, nearly a quarter of shoppers (24%) also said the cuts made them question the quality of milk on sale, with younger shoppers especially concerned - 36% of those aged 16 to 24 believed the price cuts raised quality questions.

Nearly a third of shoppers (29%) also said they believed £1 was “too low a price” to pay for four pints of milk.

Judith Bryans, CEO of Dairy UK, stressed that shoppers need not be concerned. “There is no question over the quality of British milk being varied according to price.”

While the milk cuts were welcomed by most shoppers, just over half (54%) also believed the mults should prioritise cutting prices on other products. “Fresh milk is a staple in most households, but is also not a category where consumers are spending a large proportion of their weekly spend,” said Lucia Juliano, Harris head of consumer and retail research.