The most recent figures from Information Resources Inc., show that for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25, flavored milk sales were up just .35% by dollar and they were off 1.8% by unit. Those numbers are for food stores, drugstores and mass merchandisers, not including Wal-Mart.
But while Garelick Farms, Hershey's Morningstar and Prairie Farms had decent to outstanding numbers, other brands including Deans and Borden lost ground.
Keep in mind these figures represent changes from the same period last year, and flavored milk grew substantially in 2002.
And while cheese seemed to be losing steam a year or so ago, it has come back with a vengeance. Private label cheese is up 14.5% for the period by dollar sales and private label shredded cheese grew by 9.0%. Kraft and Tillamook's natural non-shredded cheeses showed respectable growth while Sargento's non-shredded really took off.
Meanwhile, in the milk case, lowfat and skim milk sales were in the red throughout most of the last seven quarters. Dollar sales were more noticeably off than unit sales, until the final two quarter of last year when that reversed itself.
It's not a very sunny scenario in the refrigerated orange juice aisle, either. Sales have been down for the last four quarters, in some instances by more than 3 or 4%.
Time will tell if new products geared to the low-carb movement will spark sales in any of the slumping categories.