Dairy Sales at Retail Finish Strong in 2020

Jenny Karl, MS, RD| View Author Bio

2020 closed on a positive note across all dairy products at retail with categories purchased at higher rates in 2020 than 2019 as reported by Dairy Management Inc. from IRI Monitoring.

Full 2020 Sales Summary

2020 closed on a positive note across all dairy products at retail with categories purchased at a higher rate in 2020 than 2019.

MILK

  • Milk volume rose at retail by 2% in 2020 compared to 2019, reversing previous years of decline. December volume was up 1%.  In the Northeast, 2020 milk volume at retail was up 2.4%.
  • Both conventional milk (gallon-size) and value-added products (lactose-free and organic) saw growth, as did higher fat level milks.
  • Households with kids and higher per capita households contributed to above average growth.
  • Non-dairy alternatives also saw 18% growth and are 9.3% share of the milk category.
  • E-commerce as a way to purchase milk saw significant dollar growth over prior years, accelerating this trend.

CHEESE

  • Cheese volume rose at retail by 13% in 2020 compared to 2019; December volume was up over 7.5%.  In the Northeast, 2020 cheese volume at retail was up 12.6%.
  • Cheese varieties and forms associated with meal preparation saw strongest growth.  Natural cheese led the way on growth.
  • Similar to milk, households with kids and higher per capita households contributed to above average growth.
  • E-commerce as a way to purchase cheese saw significant dollar growth over prior years, accelerating this trend.

YOGURT

  • Yogurt volume rose at retail by 4% in 2020 compared to 2019, overturning the previous year’s downturn. December posted a stronger lift at 6%.  In the Northeast, 2020 yogurt volume at retail was only up 0.1%, which is different from the national trend.
  • Larger size tub packaging, low-fat varieties and Greek yogurt made the strongest contributions to 2020 growth.
  • Households with kids contributed to above average growth.

OTHER DAIRY PRODUCTS

  • Growth was observed across all “Other Dairy” products
  • Among “Other Dairy” products, butter, a strong ingredient in baking/cooking (volume up 22% at retail in 2020), and dairy cream (volume up 18% at retail in 2020), delivered strong sales increases.
  • Higher per capita households were a contributing factor to above average growth across all “Other Dairy” products.

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