Hattie’s Supa IGA Mackay owner Peter Dawson displays just some of the different types of milk on offer. While the choice has become greater, the prices for most options have dropped.
Hattie’s Supa IGA Mackay owner Peter Dawson displays just some of the different types of milk on offer. While the choice has become greater, the prices for most options have dropped. Tony Martin

Variety of milk options leave us spoilt for choice

CHOOSING an everyday grocery essential like milk is becoming easier as prices for all types of milk start to balance out.

Whether you prefer full-cream, skim or even long-life milk, prices have dropped dramatically compared to years ago.

Hattie's Supa IGA Mackay owner Peter Dawson said people's milk buying habits had changed.

"We find if we have a special on long-life milk... the volume we go through compared to 12 months ago is massive," he said.

"Long-life milk prices have changed dramatically over the past few years.

"These days a lot of people use long-life milk as a substitute."

Mr Dawson said milk alternative prices were becoming more competitive.

"The other thing growing dramatically is lactose-free milk," he said,

"There's a wide range of fresh and long-life types now, especially with intolerances, whether they're lactose or gluten.

"Alternative milks have perceived health benefits too.

"Products like Mungalli Creek Dairy, their product is organic and growing in popularity too."

Consumer watchdog Choice recently completed a study of what is in milk by comparing both generic and premium-branded milks.

The study involved having 30 Choice staff members do a blind taste test of 12 milks, both full-cream and reduced-fat.

The results showed the participants found a greater taste difference between brands of reduced fat milks than between brands of full-cream milk.

It could have been because the reduced-fat milks that Choice tested had more differences in sugar and fat levels than the full-cream ones, their study showed.

Also, in 2009, Choice performed a milk investigation which found of all types of milk, the generic brands were the cheapest and on average contained much the same levels of protein, fat and calcium as the big-name brands.

 

ALTERNATIVES

  • Almond milk contains the same heart-healthy fats as olive oil, and is naturally low in kilojoules and saturated fat
  • Coconut milk is low in carbs and kilojoules, but is significantly higher in saturated fat than other non-dairy alternatives and is lacking in protein and calcium
  • Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic of all the milk substitutes
  • Soy milk has more protein on average than other alternatives so it's good for vegans and those who don't get protein from meat sources


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