In this article, we analyze opportunities and constraints for upgrading product quality in the dairy value chain in Ethiopia. Our analysis is based on an integrated understanding of supply chain performance both from producer and from consumer perspectives. We outline as main drivers for quality upgrading: (a) factors that influence producers’ willingness to invest toward intensification by smallholder dairy farmers and cooperatives and (b) factors that induce consumer’s willingness to pay for healthy and nutritious dairy products delivered at specific retail outlets. Since there are large gaps between upstream producers incentives and downstream consumers motives, possibilities for dairy quality upgrading remain fairly limited. Given this market structure, decisive policy support is required for better tailoring producer’s investments with consumer preferences.