The main growth driver for the company’s move into emerging markets such as China, India and Pakistan is rising income levels, which have enabled more people to adopt high-protein diets.

In China, milk consumption is running at record levels of 27 billion litres a year and in India – already the world’s biggest milk producer and consumer – consumption rose 2.6% in 2008 to 51.5 billion litres.

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Privately held Tetra Pak, which has 43 packaging plants globally, is building new plants in Lahore, Pakistan, to supply the Middle East and India at a cost of $127.65m each. Last year, the company completed an $85m packaging material manufacturing plant in Hohhot, China, and in 2007 invested $141.87m in a similar plant in Russia.