Canstar Blue’s 2021 full cream fresh milk review sees Norco, ALDI Farmdale, Pauls, Devondale, Woolworths, Coles, Dairy Farmers, Pura and a2 Milk compared on taste, texture & consistency, ease of use, packaging appeal, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Do you want milk that tastes like real milk? While one in five (20%) respondents to our survey generally buy multiple milk containers on their regular grocery shop, dairy connoisseurs will tell you it’s udder nonsense to believe that all kinds of milk and milk brands are created equal – especially when it comes to the creamy, full-bodied goodness that is fresh full cream milk.
To help you find out which brand you should be pouring your money into, we surveyed nearly 900 Australian consumers on the fresh full cream milk they have bought and consumed from a supermarket or grocer within the last three months. Respondents rated brands on taste, texture, ease of use, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that met the minimum required sample size of 30 responses are featured in our results.
We herd it loud and clear. Since moo-ving to first place in last year’s ratings, Norco continues to prove it’s still the crème de la crème after it was rated best in all categories ─ including overall satisfaction! It was also the only brand to receive a five-star review in any category.
Here are the best full cream fresh milk brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Norco drinks up another win after it received five-star reviews across all categories, including overall satisfaction, for the second year in a row. ALDI Farmdale, Pauls, Devondale and Woolworths trotted closely behind on four stars overall. Meanwhile, Coles, Dairy Farmers, Pura and a2 Milk rounded up the scores on three stars each.
Expect each Norco bottle to fill your glass with milk that’s not just full-bodied and high in cream, protein and flavour, but also supposedly permeate-free. Norco is also stated to be 100% Australian farmer-owned. The brand offers different types of white milk, including lactose-free, ‘lite’, non-homogenised, skim and full cream. Norco also sells 2% fat milk, which promises to give you the same full cream milk taste without the extra calories.
Norco has a few types of full cream milk options to choose from, including:
A bottle of Norco’s full cream milk can cost you anywhere between $3.50 and $5.20. These come in 300ml, 500ml, 1L, 1.5L, 2L and 3L bottles.
ALDI is the discount supermarket chain known for putting its budget-friendly spin on a wide variety of products, including everything from face creams and mattresses. So, it’s no surprise that it’s joined Coles and Woolies in creating its range of milk products with Farmdale.
Available in both bottled and powdered form, ALDI’s short and sweet homebrand range of full cream milk includes the Farmdale lactose-free full cream milk available in 1L bottles, which usually cost just $1.99, or the 1kg bags of milk powder will set you back $5.69.
If your go-to cup of coffee order includes a lactose-free milk substitute, then chances are you’re ordering Zymil. Pauls’ range of full cream milk is described as an ideal option for Aussies ‘who love the traditional, rich taste of milk the way it used to be’.
Each bottle of Australian milk is said to provide a good source of calcium and protein and to be permeate-free. Available in 750ml and 1.5L bottles, products include:
Pauls full cream milk typically costs between $2.15 and $5.10.
Devondale says it pours all its efforts into creating natural fresh milk ‘just the way milk should be’. Each bottle is stated to contain 10 essential nutrients to keep bones strong and to be permeate-free, and naturally homogenised and pasteurised. The range doesn’t contain any preservatives. Available in Woolies and Coles, Devondale’s list of full cream milk products include:
Devondale offers a larger variety of sizes compared to other brands. Products are usually available in either 1L, 2L or 3L bottles, with a 1kg powder alternative also available. If you’re looking for long-life full cream milk, this is usually sold in 150ml, 1L and 2L cartons.
Woolworths offers Aussies another supermarket homebrand option with its line of basic dairy products, including full cream milk. The options currently available are from the supermarket’s Drought Relief Milk range, with a portion of the cost going to support dairy farmers in drought-affected areas. Each bottle of full cream milk is permeate-free.
Here’s a sample of the Woolworths fresh milk range:
These generally come in 2L and 3L bottles, and typically cost $2.39 or $3.59, depending on which size you get.
Along with other supermarket giants like ALDI and Woolies, Coles has its homebrand line of milk. Compared to other options in the dairy aisle, Coles’ range is noticeably more affordable. Prices start from just $1.10 for a 600ml bottle and reach up to $3.59 for a 3L bottle. Some full cream milk products include:
Lactose-free full cream milk is alternatively available.
If anyone knows about milk, Dairy Farmers is easily a name that comes to mind. Having been in the dairy game since 1900, the brand continues to be a household name and is often synonymous with the yoghurt and flavoured milk packed in our school lunch boxes, as well as the sweet treats created using Dairy Farmers’ custard and cream products. When it comes to full cream milk, each bottle is said to be rich in calcium and a natural source of protein. Dairy Farmers products are claimed to have no additives or preservatives.
Some fresh milk options include:
Dairy Farmers’ full cream milk is usually available in 150ml, 500ml, 1L, 2L and 3L bottles. These usually check out at the counter for anywhere between $2.25 and $4.90.
Pura’s humble beginnings began as a single milk delivery cart, supplying just a few streets with their daily dose of dairy. As the company grew, it eventually joined other food brands to create National Foods Limited. A glass of Pura milk is claimed to contain eight essential nutrients and is made from 100% Australian ingredients.
If you have trouble digesting dairy and tend to stay away from regular cow milk as a result, a2 Milk might be worth considering. What separates a2 Milk from the rest of the cattle? The brand claims that unlike the milk that comes from conventional cows, which typically contains both A2 and A1 protein, a2 Milk’s range of fresh milk is produced from cows that have been chosen to naturally produce only the A2 beta-casein protein. This apparently ensures the product comes straight from the udder and is not a result of genetic engineering.
You can get fresh full cream milk in either bottled or powdered form. Products include:
A 1L bottle of a2 Milk full cream milk typically costs $3.20, while double the amount will check out for $5.20 or $7.95 for 3L. Instant milk powder is alternatively available in 1kg bags.
Our survey shows many shoppers want to keep Aussie farmers’ glasses half full, with 44% buying a brand of milk they believe supports the country’s dairy farmers, while 28% are willing to pay extra for that. Plus, 48% of people believe supermarkets should be doing more to support their dairy farmers.
When it comes to buying habits, nearly a quarter (21%) of respondents opt for whatever is the cheapest option. This is unsurprising considering one in five (20%) pick up multiple containers during their regular shop, and a handful of people don’t end up finishing what they’ve got before it goes off (15%).
Do you like to strip things down and enjoy the full-bodied taste of full cream milk on its own, just like one in three (36%) respondents? Or maybe you’re particular about the ingredients and nutritional value, similar to a small portion of people we surveyed (9%)? Either way, there’s plenty of options out there. But whatever you chose, we hope you find this review useful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Our latest fresh milk ratings saw Norco dominate in all categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased fresh full cream milk from a supermarket or grocer and tried, within the last three months– in this case, 889 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 by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the past winners of Canstar Blue’s fresh full cream milk ratings:
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