“At $67 billion, dairy is the biggest category in the U.S. retail food business,” shared Paul Ziemnisky. However, in retail channels, dairy is more than products made from cow’s milk. The category also includes eggs and imitation dairy products.
“Even after you strip out eggs and fake dairy, it’s still a $59 billion category in the U.S. retail space,” continued Ziemnisky, who serves as executive vice president of global innovation partnerships for Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). “Dairy is in 96% of all U.S. households,” he added during the annual gathering of DMI and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in mid-November.
Consumers not only benefit from nutritious dairy products, but dairy also delivers for retailers.
“When dairy is in the basket, consumers spend $38 to $42 more on food purchases. That statistic caught Amazon’s attention,” said the marketing expert who works on behalf of the nation’s dairy farmers and their checkoff program.
“Dairy can do it so many ways because we produce a nutrient-dense product,” explained NMPF Board Chairman Randy Mooney in making comments earlier in the meeting. “Dairy is so flexible in the ways we can create products,” added DMI CEO and President Barbara O’Brien.
To say the least, dairy is not dead as some would like to think. While it’s true that fluid milk sales have been trending downward for some time, the entire category continues to grow.
“When people wanted dairy, we delivered,” commented Jim Mulhern, CEO and president of NMPF, of the collective dairy community’s response during the COVID-19 health pandemic.
“Consumption is the highest since 1960,” he went on to explain. In making that statement, Mulhern was referencing USDA data that illustrates per capita dairy product consumption has climbed to 655 pounds per person. Over the past 10 years, the growth rate was 52 pounds.