Milk in Bolivia is not as cheap as you may have expected, indeed it’s only 30% cheaper than the price of milk in the United States and other developed countries, even with the fact that it’s subsidized by the government of Bolivia. Anyway, you can find milk in Bolivia down to $3 a gallon from well reputable and very safe brands in the country.
The cost of a gallon of milk (3.75 L) in Bolivia is about $3.50 (Bs 24). A common bag of milk (0.25 gal) will be $0.86 (Bs 6). For different producers and types, this price can go from $2.86 to $4.87 (Bs 20 to Bs 32), and in premium markets and exclusive places a gallon of milk can go up to $5.14 (Bs 38).
Here we will look at the cost of milk in the country, for different types and brands, also according to where it’s sold. You will know every detail about the cost of milk in Bolivia for different sizes and even how this cost is going to evolve in the future.
Table of Contents
The cost of milk in Bolivia
Milk in Bolivia is mostly sold in bags of 0.25 gal, which are almost equivalent to 1 L, these bags of milk of 0.25 gallon can range in price from $0.71 to $0.93 (Bs 5 to Bs 6.50) in 90% of the cases. Sometimes, milk in the country will be a lot more costly, for example, when it’s bought from premium brands like Delizia or Nestle, or expensive supermarkets.
The main producer of milk in Bolivia is Pil Andina, it’s owned by the government and holds about 80% of the total market share. Everyone in Bolivia buys Pil Andina’s milk, and its price for a common bag of natural milk (0.25 gal) is $0.86 (Bs 6), so a gallon from this brand costs $3.43 (Bs 24).
Now let’s see the detailed costs of milk in Bolivia according to several producers, types, and situations.
|Milk producer and type||Cost milk (1 gal)||Cost milk (0.25 gal, 1 bag)||Market share (%)|
|Pil Andina’s milk||$3.43, Bs 24||$0.86, Bs 6||>75%|
|Kream’s milk||$3.14, Bs 22||$0.79, Bs 5.50||<15%|
|Delizia’s milk||$3.43, Bs 24||$0.86, Bs 6||<5%|
|EBA’s milk (statal corp.)||$2.86, Bs 20||$0.71, Bs 5||<5%|
|Artisanal milk||$2.86, Bs 20||$0.71, Bs 5||<1%|
|Organic milk||$5.71, Bs 40||$1.43, Bs 10||<1%|
|Milk powder (Pil, 760 gr)||$6.36, Bs 44.50||–||–|
|Reduced fat milk (Pil)||$3.71, Bs.26||$0.93, Bs 6.50||–|
|Skimmed milk (Pil)||$3.43, Bs 24||$0.86, Bs 6||–|
|Milk in supermarkets||15% overpriced (10%-40%)||15% overpriced (10%-40%)||–|
Milk is normally sold in small grocery stores that exist in every neighborhood across the country. These stores are just steps away from homes around. Most Bolivians buy from these small stores, but if you buy from big supermarkets in expensive neighborhoods, milk will be overpriced by about 10% to 20%. Wealthy people and foreigners living in these areas will pay this extra price for milk.
For the majority of the population, 90% of it, just buying a bag of Pil Andina’s or Kream’s milk will be enough. These 2 companies produce high-quality milk, of which you don’t need to worry in regards to its safety or possible health issues.
The price of milk in Bolivia is subsidized
One thing to say about milk in Bolivia is that most of it is subsidized and should cost more, but the government, which owns Pil Andina, is currently paying part of its production, so in the market, it has a lower price than it should have according to its costs.
Even more, the Bolivian government owns and also manages another company that distributes milk; EBA, which mostly helps small rural producers of milk in different areas of the country. You can find EBA’s milk in most supermarkets in Bolivia at a cheap price of $2.86 (Bs 20) per gallon.
Sellers may increase the milk price for tourists
If you buy milk in Bolivia inside tourist places or tourist restaurants, or from the grocery stores around, it may become quite overpriced, getting an overprice of 30% to 70% over its original cost.
So be careful with this possibility, you should not pay more than $1 for a common 0.25 gal bag of milk in the country, or $4 for a gallon of milk unless there is no other alternative.
If you buy a cup of milk (1/16 gal) in tourist restaurants, it may cost you from $1 to $3, then to save money just buy a bag of milk from a normal grocery store.
Pil Andina produces almost all the milk that is sold in Bolivia
Currently, this statal company, Pil Andina, is by far the main producer and seller of milk in Bolivia, accounting for more than 80% of the market share. Pil Andina is subsidized by the government, so it sells milk at a lower price than it should be.
The other company, which is private, but also has a significant market share is Kream. This company also makes high-quality milk and you won’t have any trouble if you drink it.
Cost of different types of milk in Bolivia
Now let’s see some details about different brands and types of milk produced and sold in Bolivia, with their corresponding costs.
Pil Andina’s milk
As we said before, Pil Andina is the main producer of milk in Bolivia. This company produces natural milk, but also all variants of this drink including, reduced fat, skimmed, powder and condensed milk, etcetera. It’s by far the preferred company for most Bolivians, as it seems not to have health risks.
You won’t have any trouble when buying from this company, as it maintains high standards when producing milk.
The prices for a 0.25 gal bag of milk from Pil Andina will go from $0.86 to $0.93 (Bs 6 to Bs 6.5) for different types, like natural milk, reduced fat milk, skimmed milk, etc. It’ll cost about $1 in the main supermarkets.
Kream it’s another large company that produces milk in Bolivia. It also makes high-quality milk and has almost the same prices as Pil Andina. It has somewhat a different taste, it’s up to you to see if it’s more tasty compared to the milk of Pil Andina.
This company currently owns about 20% of the market share in the country, and its 0.25 gal bags of milk will cost you about $1.
EBA’s milk (government producer)
This is another government company, which mostly helps to sell milk from small rural producers. So it doesn’t produce any milk by itself, it rather acts as a distributor for small producers in rural areas of Bolivia.
The milk from this company is not available everywhere, you are going to find this brand only in main supermarkets around the country. Also is not really preferred by the majority of the Bolivian population, maybe because it’s a new initiative.
There are also small organic stores available across Bolivia where you can buy organic milk that has been produced from vegetal sources, like soja, quinoa, etcetera. You’ll be able to find this milk in specialized organic stores, but it’ll cost you from 100% to 200% of the common price of milk in Bolivia.
Then 0.25 gal bag of organic milk will cost you about $1.13 to $2.7 (Bs 8 to Bs 15) depending on the brand.
There is another type of handcrafted milk that is not organic, but rather artisanal. It has been extracted by rural workers who come to the cities and sell it on some streets inside unbranded bottles. It tends to cost less than normal milk, about $0.71 (Bs 5) for a 0.25 gal bottle, but its price can vary from seller to seller.
This milk is not organic, it comes from cows, but it has been produced in an artisanal way and doesn’t have a brand.
The milk sold this way in the streets by rural producers may have impurities and also salmonella and other diseases. You should always boil this milk appropriately before drinking it, only buy it if you know what you’re doing.
Skimmed milk, reduced-fat milk, and powdered milk
Different variants and types of milk, like skimmed, reduced fat or powder milk, etcetera, most of the time will cost almost the same as natural milk. For example, skimmed milk has the same price as natural milk, and reduced-fat milk only has a price 10% higher than its natural counterpart.
Nearly 2 pounds of powdered milk will cost you about $7 (Bs 49) from Pil Andina. We recommend you buy from this brand when trying to get other types of milk in the country.
Milk in small grocery stores
As we just said before, almost all the milk sold in Bolivia is distributed by small grocery stores that are on the corners of almost every neighborhood of Bolivia.
Neighborhoods in Bolivia can have small businesses inside and are not only residential. So people and homeowners tend to open these small grocery stores to sell candies, bread, and also basic food like milk, sugar, salt, etcetera.
In these small stores, milk will have the prices mentioned before.
Milk in big supermarkets
On the other hand, expensive and wealthy neighborhoods link will also have premium supermarkets like in the first world, similar to Best Buy or Costco, where you can find all sorts of groceries and food, including many types of milk and milk brands. People are wealthy in these neighborhoods and tend to buy from these supermarkets.
Normally almost any kind of food, and also milk, will have an overprice of 10% to 20% in premium supermarkets.
How is the cost of milk going to evolve?
As said before, milk is currently subsidized in Bolivia for the whole population, so there is a lot of pressure from time to time to lift this subsidy, there have been even some social conflicts in this matter recently, anyway it’s very unlikely for the price of milk to change in the middle-term or coming years.
The cost of milk in Bolivianos (Bs) has been the same for more than a decade. But if it changes, it’ll go up to between $4.0 to $4.5 (Bs 28 to Bs 31.50) per gallon of milk, and not more, then a bag (0.25 L) of milk will cost from $1.00 to $1.14 (Bs 7 to Bs 8).
In this guide about the cost of milk in Bolivia, you’ve seen that it is normally sold in bags of 0.25 gallons, at a price of between $0.7 to $1, and this range depends on the type of milk and the brand you choose to buy from. You have seen that Pil Andina is currently the milk market leader, selling many types of it at prices of about $0.9 for a 0.25 gal bag.
You also saw that there are other brands and types of milk, like Kream, with almost the same prices as Pil Andina. Delizia, Nestle, and other premium brands will almost double the prices, organic milk will almost double the price, artisanal milk will be cheaper but riskier when consumed, and milk variants like fat-reduced milk will have nearly the same price.
Finally, you realized that milk sold in tourist places tends to be overpriced, and if you want to save money, just buy it from local small grocery stores or large supermarkets where you’ll find the same prices as everywhere else in the country.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know more about the detailed costs of food in Bolivia, for every category of foods and drinks, according to different servings and sizes, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: The cost of food in Bolivia, everything to know.
BolivianExperts.com, information about how to live, work, invest, and travel in Bolivia.