The milk industry dodged one bullet this year (thanks to the temporary extension by Congress of the 2008 farm bill, keeping milk prices stable, for now) but the numbers show there’s still a bumpy road ahead.
In the 52 weeks ended Nov. 4, 2012, sales (as measured by dollars) were stagnant and unit sales were down 2.3%, according to data from SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago. As the milk industry continues to scramble to find ways to stay relevant, alternative nondairy milk forms, like almond milk, show an increase in popularity. The refrigerated kefir/milk substitutes/soymilk category saw a 15.6% dollar sales increase, with units up 15.2% in the same time period above, according to SymphonyIRI. (Although kefir is a dairy beverage, SymphonyIRI Group tracks it with milk substitutes.)