Best fresh milk brands in Australia

Introducing the best fresh milk brands in Australia for taste, value for money and freshness, as chosen by Aussie consumers.

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Best Fresh Milk (Dairy - Full cream, skim etc.)

Best Rated Fresh Milk (Dairy - Full cream, skim etc.) Brand: Riverina Fresh

As a kitchen staple, milk is one product you don't want to get wrong. According to Aussies, Riverina is the fresh milk brand to buy, thanks to its top-rated packaging design.

The best fresh milk brands in Australia

How did we choose the winners?

The 2020 Finder Retail Awards recognise brand sentiment from customer feedback on different retail product categories. Finder worked with leading data, insights and consulting company Kantar to conduct thousands of customer interviews around their product purchasing history and satisfaction with their purchased products.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Top-rated fresh milk brand: Riverina Fresh

Riverina Fresh

  • 100% Australian-owned company
  • Established in 1922
  • Works with 20 dairy farmers in the Riverina region
  • Range includes full cream, light, skim and lactose-free options
With a combined score of 8.46/10, Riverina Fresh is the winner of the Finder Retail Award for the top-rated fresh milk brand. After impressing consumers with its taste, freshness and packaging design, Riverina Fresh milk is a top choice when you're filling your shopping trolley.

Riverina's combined score of 8.46/10 saw it narrowly defeat Norco, Devondale and Farmers' Own.

Established in 1992, Riverina Fresh partners with dairy farmers across the Riverina region. It supplies milk and dairy products to supermarkets and cafes in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, and its products have won multiple awards from the Dairy Industry Association of Australia.

Riverina Fresh's range of fresh milk products includes full cream, light, skim, gold, lactose-free and lactose-free light milk.


Best fresh milk brand for value for money: ALDI Farmdale

ALDI Farmdale

  • Offers fresh and powdered milk
  • Lactose-free milk available
  • Also offers cream and flavoured milk
If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, ALDI Farmdale fresh milk is the top choice among Australian consumers. With a score of 4.66/5, it takes the win as the best fresh milk brand for value for money.

The next best performers in this category include Woolworths with a score of 4.49/5, Coles with a score of 4.42/5 and Riverina Fresh with a score of 4.33/5.

Discount supermarket chain ALDI has made a name for itself competing with Woolies and Coles, and it's no surprise to see the three major retailers feature here. ALDI Farmdale offers both fresh and powdered milk, including full cream and lactose-free varieties.


Best-tasting fresh milk brand: Norco

Norco

  • Established in 1895
  • 100% owned by Australian farmers
  • Works with over 200 dairy farms in NSW and Queensland
With an average score of 4.58/5 for taste, Norco was chosen as the best-tasting fresh milk brand by Australian consumers. This was a closely fought category, with Norco narrowly defeating Pura with a score of 4.56/5, Dairy Farmers with a score of 4.52/5 and Riverina Fresh with a score of 4.50/5.

A farmer-owned dairy co-operative, Norco was established in northern NSW in the late 19th century. It sources its milk and dairy products from over 200 farms in northern NSW and southeast Queensland, and offers a huge range of fresh milk products. This includes full cream milk, barista milk, organic milk, lactose-free milk, 2% fat milk and more.


Best fresh milk brand for packaging design: Riverina Fresh

Riverina Fresh

  • 100% Australian-owned company
  • Established in the Riverina region in 1922
  • Product range includes full cream, light, skim and lactose-free options
Riverina Fresh impressed Australian consumers with its packaging design, earning a score of 4.5/5. This sees it take the win for best fresh milk packaging design, beating out Norco with a score of 4.34/5, Farmers' Own with a score of 4.32/5 and A2 Milk with a score of 4.30/5.

Riverina Fresh partners with 20 dairy farmers in the Riverina region, providing fresh milk to supermarkets and cafes in NSW, Victoria and the ACT. As well as fresh milk, it also produces flavoured milk, yoghurt, cream and more.


Best fresh milk brand for freshness: Farmers' Own

Farmers' Own

  • Launched in 2013
  • The result of a partnership between Woolworths and dairy farmers
  • Offers full cream, reduced fat and unhomogenised milk
If you're looking for the freshest milk, Australian consumers recommend Farmers' Own. With a score of 4.64/5, it was voted the best fresh milk brand for freshness.

Other brands that scored well in this category include Dairy Farmers with a score of 4.62/5, Devondale and Norco with tied scores of 4.58/5.

Farmers' Own is a Woolworths brand that was first launched in stores on the NSW north coast in 2013. The brand has picked up several awards at food and dairy shows in years past, and Farmers' Own products are now sold in NSW, Victoria, WA, SA and the Northern Territory. Its product range includes full cream, reduced fat and unhomogenised milk.


Methodology

The 2020 Finder Retail Awards recognise brand sentiment from customer feedback on different retail product categories. Finder worked with leading data, insights and consulting company Kantar to conduct thousands of customer interviews around their product purchasing history and satisfaction with their purchased products.

Disclaimer: Please refer to our methodology for more information on how we scored and judged Finder Retail Awards candidates. While we endeavour to assess the majority of product providers in the market, this is not always possible and it may be that not every brand in the market was included for judging.

Best rated fresh milk brand award breakdown

Overall rating Value for money Taste Packaging design Freshness
A2 Milk 4.32 3.94 4.38 4.30 4.50
ALDI Farmdale 4.44 4.66 4.30 4.10 4.40
Coles 4.15 4.42 4.10 3.98 4.27
Dairy Farmers 4.40 4.16 4.52 4.28 4.62
Devondale 4.50 4.12 4.46 4.26 4.58
Farmers’ Own 4.48 4.30 4.36 4.32 4.64
Norco 4.53 4.32 4.58 4.34 4.58
Pauls 4.36 3.98 4.34 4.24 4.46
Pura 4.40 4.22 4.56 4.14 4.46
Riverina 4.67 4.33 4.50 4.50 4.42
Woolworths 4.22 4.49 4.27 4.06 4.39
Other 4.63 4.29 4.69 4.15 4.79
Data: Finder Retail Brand Survey, 2020, Kantar. Metric out of 5 stars unless indicated. Methodology and more info. Kantar logo

What types of fresh milk are available?

Standing in the refrigerated section at the supermarket and can't decide which milk to choose? There are three main options available:

  • Full cream. Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, this must contain at least 3.2% fat and 3% protein.
  • Reduced fat Reduced-fat, low-fat, light and 2% milks have a fat content of 1-2%. Check the ingredients panel on the label if you're worried about how much fat is in your milk.
  • Skim. To earn the "skim" label, milk must have no more than 0.15% fat and at least 3% protein.

You've probably also come across A2 milk, which contains the A2 type of a protein known as beta-casein (regular milk contains a mixture of A1 and A2 beta-casein). A2 milk initially rose to prominence on the back of claims linking A1 proteins to a range of health problems, including everything from diabetes to autism. However, a 2009 review by the European Food Safety Authority found that there was insufficient evidence to support any such claims about A1 proteins.

A2 milk is now marketed as an alternative for people who experience digestive upset after drinking milk. Some studies support this claim, but more research needs to be done. A2 milk may therefore be an option for anyone who has trouble digesting milk, but lactose-free milk is also a suitable alternative.

What to consider when choosing fresh milk

There are a few factors you should consider when choosing fresh milk. Make sure you take the following factors into account when comparing your options:

Type of milk

How much fat you want in your milk could be influenced by everything from health and dietary requirements to taste. However, it's worth pointing out that while the Heart Foundation recommends reduced-fat milk for people with heart disease or high cholesterol, healthy Australians can choose between full-fat and reduced-fat options.

Health needs

You may need to consider your specific health requirements when buying milk. For example, the recommended dietary intake of calcium changes as you age, with women over 50 and everyone over 70 requiring more calcium than other adults. Lactose-intolerant people can benefit from lactose-free milk, while some products also claim to lower cholesterol. Your GP or dietitian can help you find the right milk for your needs, so ask their advice if needed.

Organic

If you're concerned about pesticides, other additives or animal welfare, you may wish to buy organic milk. However, you'll need to be willing to pay extra.

Price

Most fresh milk is priced between $1.20 and $3.50 per litre. Of course, rather than buying purely on cost alone, you may also want to consider what impact the price of milk has on Aussie dairy farmers.

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