The Tetra Brik Aseptic 500 Edge - a scaled down version of the one litre Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge - was developed by Tetra Pak to cater to the growing number of smaller households in Europe and North America.
In 1980, the average number of children per household globally was 1.9, says Tetra Pak. This figure is expected to fall to 1.0 by 2020.
The number of single person households and couples without children is meanwhile forecast to hit 330m by 2020 - double the number recorded in 1980.
With fewer mouths to feed, these consumers prefer to buy staples such as milk in smaller volumes, says Tetra Pak.
"We've noticed that consumers in Europe are drinking less milk everyday," Raffaella Premonte, associate product manager, Tetra Pak, told DairyReporter.com.
"Also, some drink skimmed milk, some drink whole milk, others are drinking growing up milk."
"The aim of this 500ml carton is to keep the product fresher for longer."
Tetra Pak told DairyReporter.com recently that offering scaled-down cartons is key to securing the loyalty of Deeper in the Pyramid (DIP) consumers - those with daily income of between US$2.00 (€1.60) and US$8.00 (€6.45).
This trend is not, however, confined to emerging, poorer markets, said Premonte.
"The downsizing trend is one we're seeing in every category, but in milk it's particularly strong," she said. "We know that in many markets, even in developed markets, downsizing is very important."
"In Germany, for example, until two years ago it was all about one litre cartons."
"Now we have customers that want 200ml cartons because consumers don't want a huge carton in the fridge."
Austrian dairy Berglandmilch, which controls a dominant 16% share of the Austrian drinking milk market (Euromonitor), is first to pick up the Tetra Brik Aseptic 500 Edge for its Formil brand UHT milk.
"In the recent years we have witnessed a significant shift in the way consumer buy their milk - many more are looking for smaller pack sizes due to the decreasing size of households," said Josef Braunshofer, managing director, Berglandmilch.
"The new Tetra Brik Aseptic 500 Edge is exactly what we have been looking for," Braunshofer added.