Despite the global pandemic, “dairy remains a sales powerhouse.” That market analysis came from Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics, on the July 9 Hoard's Dairyman DairyLivestream.

It’s no secret that grocery store sales have experience drastic variations since COVID-19 came to town in March 2020. There was a perceived toilet paper shortage, the cleaning aisles were bare, then the meat was gone, and there were purchasing limits on dairy products. In some ways, grocery store sales shifted as much as milk prices in the last four months.

However, Roerink, who does market analysis for the International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association, provided a different perspective. “Really, COVID-19 did dairy a favor because it became abundantly clear which items stores ran out of, which items sold like gangbusters, and which items were left on the shelves.”

Back to the basics
Any way you slice it, dairy sales increased throughout the tumultuous times in March 2020 and beyond. “The bottom line is that the norm for Americans is to eat meat and consume dairy,” revealed the dairy data expert.

Roerink explained that both the number of household purchases and the total amount of sales revealed an undeniable preference for dairy among grocery store shoppers. “The weeks of March 15 and March 22 were the biggest week for grocery store sales ever. Dairy purchases alone were up 60%!”

Additionally, a new-found preference for baking boosted dairy sales tremendously. “Americans were baking like crazy – and they still are – which is a huge opportunity for dairy as a whole.”

Overall, consumers have reconnected with dairy products, which, as Roerink cautions, is not an opportunity we should let pass us by, regardless of what part of the food chain you represent.

“People have re-engaged with dairy across the board, so let’s make sure that they have a great experience and that they feel good about that decision.”

An ongoing series of events
DairyLivestream will air twice each month for the remainder of this year. The next broadcast will be on Wednesday, July 22 at 11 a.m. CST. Each episode is designed for panelists to answer over 30 minutes of audience questions. If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here. Registering once registers you for all future events.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2020
July 13, 2020
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