Canstar Blue’s full cream fresh milk review compares ALDI Farmdale, Norco, Dairy Farmers, Pura, Woolworths, and Coles 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 respondents (21%) 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 more than 750 Australian consumers for their feedback on the fresh full cream milk they have bought (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed 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. ALDI’s Farmdale ‘moo-ved’ to first place after rating best with the only five-star review for overall satisfaction, plus full marks in several other categories.
Here are the best full cream fresh milk brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
ALDI Farmdale was rated crème de la crème in our annual ratings, whipping up a five-star review for overall satisfaction and in several categories. Norco, Dairy Farmers, and Pura landed on four stars, while Woolworths and Coles ended on three stars overall. Although Norco still managed to milk some wins for ease of use (as did Pura) and packaging appeal, scoring full marks. It also achieved full marks for taste, alongside Dairy Farmers and Pura. Dairy Farmers additionally got the same result for texture and consistency.
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 carton 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 costs just $1.99, or the 1kg bags of milk powder will set you back $7.99.
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. A bottle of Norco’s full cream milk can cost you anywhere between $3.50 and $5.20. These come in 1L, 1.5L, 2L, and 3L bottles, depending on what you get.
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.
Dairy Farmers’ full cream milk is usually available in 1L, 2L, and 3L bottles and in a 600ml carton. These usually check out at the counter for anywhere between $1.50 and $5.
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.
Pura’s range of full cream milk comes in 150ml, 500ml, 1L, 2L, and 3L bottles as well as in 300ml and 600ml cartons. These typically cost between $1.60 and $5.
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 line-up, with a portion of the cost going to support dairy farmers in drought-affected areas. These include 2L and 3L bottles of regular full cream milk and a 1L lactose-free alternative. Drought Relief products are claimed to be permeate-free, while the regular Woolworths option is said to have no added permeate. Prices for Woolworths’ fresh full cream milk start from $1.35 and go up to $3.90.
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 $1.15 for a 600ml carton and reach up to $3.90 for a 3L bottle. Some full cream milk products include Coles Dairy Full Cream Milk and Coles Full Cream Milk.
The brands above aren’t the only ones you should ‘cow’ about. Here are a few more popular brands to check out at the supermarket.
Devondale says it pours all its efforts into creating natural fresh milk ‘just the way milk should be’. Each bottle of the brand’s Full Cream Fresh Milk is stated to contain 10 essential nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. This is available in 2L and 3L bottles, generally costing between $3.30 and $4.55. Other full cream milk products include Devondale Full Cream Long Life Milk and Devondale Full Cream Milk Powder.
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.
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’. Claimed to be made from 100% Australian milk, the line-up is said to provide a good source of calcium and protein and is permeate-free. Products include the Pauls Full Cream Milk, Pauls Farmhouse Gold Full Cream, and Zymil Full Cream. These are available in 750ml and 1.5L bottles, or in 1L cartons and 2L bottles for Zymil.
Our survey shows many shoppers want to keep Aussie farmers’ glasses half full, with 50% buying a brand of milk they believe supports the country’s dairy farmers. A similar portion also said they would pay extra for supermarket-branded milk if some of the additional money went to dairy farmers (49%), with the majority willing to spend 10c (29%) or 20c (21%) extra per litre.
When it comes to buying habits, nearly a quarter of respondents (21%) opt for whatever is the cheapest option. This is unsurprising considering one in five (21%) 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 (16%). It also explains why half of the shoppers surveyed (55%) stick to buying the bottle with the longest expiry date from the day of purchase.
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 (34%) respondents (34%)? Or maybe you’re particular about the ingredients and nutritional value, similar to a small portion of people we surveyed (7%)? Either way, there are 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.
Picture credit: S_Photo/Shutterstock.com
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 (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed full cream milk within the last three months – in this case, 769 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:
Best-Rated Block Cheese - April 9th
Supermarket giant Coles has recalled a brand of frozen pomegranate pieces amid reports that several people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A after consuming the product.
NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority are said to …– Read more
Appliances - November 8th
Making yoghurt is easy and can provide a healthy treat. Check out Canstar Blue’s review and guide to yoghurt makers in Australia.– Read more