Previous studies show associations between dairy product consumption and type 2 diabetes, but only a few studies conducted detailed analyses for a variety of dairy subgroups. Therefore, we examined cross-sectional associations of a broad variety of dairy subgroups with pre-diabetes and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (ND-T2DM) among Dutch adults. In total, 112 086 adults without diabetes completed a semi-quantitative FFQ and donated blood. Pre-diabetes was defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) between 5·6 and 6·9 mmol/l or HbA1c% of 5·7–6·4 %. ND-T2DM was defined as FPG ≥7·0 mmol/l or HbA1c ≥6·5 %. Logistic regression analyses were conducted by 100 g or serving increase and dairy tertiles (T1ref), while adjusting for demographic, lifestyle and dietary covariates. Median dairy product intake was 324 (interquartile range 227) g/d; 25 549 (23 %) participants had pre-diabetes; and 1305 (1 %) had ND-T2DM. After full adjustment, inverse associations were observed of skimmed dairy (OR100 g 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 1·00), fermented dairy (OR100 g 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99) and buttermilk (OR150 g 0·97; 95 % CI 0·94, 1·00) with pre-diabetes. Positive associations were observed for full-fat dairy (OR100 g 1·003; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·06), non-fermented dairy products (OR100 g 1·01; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·02) and custard (ORserving/150 g 1·13; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·24) with pre-diabetes. Moreover, full-fat dairy products (ORT3 1·16; 95 % CI 0·99, 1·35), non-fermented dairy products (OR100 g 1·05; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·09) and milk (ORserving/150 g 1·08; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·15) were positively associated with ND-T2DM. In conclusion, our data showed inverse associations of skimmed and fermented dairy products with pre-diabetes. Positive associations were observed for full-fat and non-fermented dairy products with pre-diabetes and ND-T2DM.