However, the research also shows fewer than half the 9000 people surveyed in nine countries are eating every day.
Fonterra strategy director Maury Leyland said the results clearly demonstrate growing awareness of the importance of dairy nutrition across the region and the opportunity this presents to the New Zealand dairy industry.
“With a fast-growing and increasingly affluent population, people across Asia are becoming more focused on their families receiving the right nutrition. Fonterra is well-positioned to help meet this demand.
“Our strategy outlines our focus on the Asian markets, where we see big potential for growth. In NZ the average person consumes the equivalent of 245 litres of milk each year but in Asia this average is only 30 litres,” she said.
Dairy demand across Asia has grown rapidly over the last 10 years with demand for high quality dairy nutrition increasing by 49%. This trend is set to continue with global demand expected to increase significantly in coming years.
“This is a real opportunity for Fonterra. We have teams in 11 markets across Asia educating food companies and consumers about the benefits of dairy and looking at ways to make dairy more accessible as part of daily diets and a core ingredient in commercial kitchens – and this hard work is paying off,” Leyland said.
Of those surveyed in the research, Chinese and Thai consumers were the most aware of the benefits of dairy nutrition with 84% saying they believed it was an important or very important part of a balanced diet. Recognition was the lowest in Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam at just over 60% in each country.