Canstar Blue compares long life milk from brands ALDI Farmdale, Devondale, Woolworths and Coles based on taste, how long it stays fresh, packaging appeal, value for money and overall satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order. Canstar Blue research finalised in February 2017, published in March 2017.
If you want a longer life from your milk, you’ll be interested to know that ALDI Farmdale has been rated highest by Australian consumers, rating the brand five stars on packaging, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction.
ALDI Farmdale milks the long life milk ratings
Whether you splash it on your cereal, put it in your smoothie, or have a dash in your coffee, Aussies are absolute lovers of milk. Long life milk is probably the single most useful product found in the pantry – or fridge – as it can generally be stored for a long time and is useful for if you run out of the fresh stuff. Also called UHT – ultra-high temperature processing – milk, long life milk comes in a wide variety of sizes and is usually just as cheap as fresh milk. So for such a useful product, what brand stands out on top of the cowherd?
As part of our annual review of various food and drink products, Canstar Blue surveyed drinkers of UHT milk across Australia to get their opinions about the brands they’ve bought and enjoyed over the preceding three months. You may also like to see our ratings for:
When it comes to long life milk, four major brands received the minimum sample size required to be included in the final results – namely Devondale, Woolworths, Coles and ALDI’s Farmdale. Last year, Devondale rose to the top of our ratings, but in 2017 it has been replaced by ALDI, which achieved five star reviews across three research categories – value for money, packaging design, and of course overall satisfaction. It received four-stars for taste, and how long it actually stays fresh.
Devondale once again performed well, and while it missed out on five stars for overall satisfaction, it did achieve five stars in other important categories – taste, packaging design, and how long it stays fresh.
These ratings include all products that are dubbed ‘long life’ or ‘UHT’ milk, so what exactly do these terms mean, and how does long life milk differ from regular old fresh milk?
What is long life (UHT) milk?
UHT stands for ‘ultra-high temperature processing’ and is a method of food sterilisation. Also called ultra-pasteurisation, the milk is heated to above 135°C for a couple of seconds to kill off spores in the milk, and is then ‘flash’ cooled and homogenised. This process allows milk to have a long shelf life, especially when placed in aseptic packaging (i.e. the Tetra packs you commonly find on the shelves today). Cows’ milk is naturally bacteria-prone, and dairy products like cream and yoghurt can also go through the process.
Long life milk is largely the same as fresh milk and is pretty neck and neck in terms of nutritional value. However, while the benefits of UHT milk are well-documented – long shelf life, cheap and readily available in times of power outages and the like – it does fall short of fresh milk in some areas. For example, the folate count is nine-times higher in fresh milk, while UHT milk’s protein structure is different, making it no good for making cheese. Micronutrients such as B-vitamins may also be lower in UHT milk. However, it does contain the same amount of calories and calcium levels.
UHT milk varies in popularity around the world. In the United States, for example, UHT milk is packaged and refrigerated in the same way as regular milk because it was only introduced in the 1990s, and at the time user scepticism of ‘non-fresh’ milk was high. On the other hand, Portugal, for example, enjoys long life milk, with over 90 per cent of total milk consumption attributed to UHT milk. However, around the world, fresh milk generally reigns supreme. Though, if you’re looking for a solid option to go with in Australia, ALDI Farmdale did produce the most satisfied customers.
UHT milk is a convenient option for all kinds of milk drinkers, be it cows’, almond, lactose-free, soy or otherwise. It might be a good idea to stock up your pantry with long life milk the next time you visit the grocery shop.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought and consumed long life milk from a supermarket in the last 3 months – in this case, 557 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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