Coles and Woolies still winning milk wars

Despite a recent drop in sales, home-brand milks from both Coles and Woolworths are still the most popular among Australian consumers.

According to Roy Morgan Research, 22 percent of Australians bought either Coles' or Woolworths' home-brand milk in an average four weeks in the year to March 2013.

Sales of home-brand milks have dropped since their peak in March 2012, when Coles and Woolworths enjoyed sales shares of 26 percent and 24 percent respectively, thanks to the controversial $1 per litre pricing strategy.

However the supermarket duopoly still dominates the milk space, with sales and Dairy Farmers and Pura branded milks at just 16 percent and eight percent respectively (see graph below).

These two brands were experiencing declines before the $1 milk wars began and have now experienced sales declines for five straight years.

Pauls has remained steady at 10 percent, and A2 milk, a relatively new entrant to the market, actually experienced growth, jumping from four percent last year to its current six percent.

Angela Smith, group account manager, Roy Morgan Research, said "Heavy price cuts and fierce competition by supermarket home brands have clearly cemented their place in the market while the top two branded white milk brands have declined in popularity.

"However, as the instigator of the $1 a litre campaign only Coles, not Woolworths, has seen growth since 2011," she said.


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