It’s no secret that milk does a body good. Thanks to a lineup of excellent qualities such as protein, calcium and vitamin C, milk is still a leading contender in the health-food race.
But apparently not everyone is buying in, and that’s why numbers from Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. indicate a decline in sales in three of the top milk categories.
According to IRI stats as of Nov. 29, skim and low-fat milk sales are down 16.3%.
For the $6.8 billion skim and low-fat milk category, IRI figures place private label brands in the No. 1 spot, followed by HP Hood’s Lactaid 100% Lactose Free Reduced Fat Milk. Dean Foods claimed the third and fourth slots, with its Horizon Dairy’s Organic Reduced Fat line and Dean’s fat-free milk, respectively. Organic Valley snagged fifth place with its organic fat-free milk options, trailed by Prairie Farms, Garelick Farms, HP Hood’s other low-fat milk choices, Kemp’s Select 1% Milk and Stonyfield Farm’s organic fat-free milk line.
Meanwhile the whole milk category followed suit with a 17.8% decline in sales and a 1.8% drop in unit sales.
On the other hand, the flavored milk category – now being accused by some being as bad as sugary soft drinks as a school beverage option – only dropped 5.2% in sales but increased 3.4% in unit sales.
For example, standing at No. 5, HP Hood’s chocolate- and coffee-flavored milk helped accrue the company’s 3.1% sales hike, while Dean Foods introduced DHA Omega-3 chocolate milk under the Horizon Organic brand, which helped it claim a 19.7% jump in sales. Hiland Dairy saw a 12.8% increase in sales of its chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk options. Kemp’s came in at No. 9 with a whopping 138.3% jump in sales due to its Select line of flavored milk, available in Banana, Chocolate, Strawberry and Cookies ‘n Scream varieties.
Even though Darigold received the 11th spot, its sales also soared nearly 40% thanks to its chocolate-, strawberry- and mocha-flavored milk options.
However, although private label brands absorb $228.7 million of the $714.3 million flavored milk category, it saw a 1.5% drop in sales. Meanwhile, Nestlé Nesquik sales plummeted 17.8% and Dean’s and Prairie Farms saw drops of 11.2% and 7.5%, respectively.
IRI figures also show a 3.5% rise in kefir, milk substitute and soymilk sales, with a 2.9% boost in unit sales.
Silk soy milk, produced by Dean’s WhiteWave Foods, maintained its No. 1 spot by raking in $250 million in sales.
The No. 8 slot goes to Blue Diamond Growers for the launch of its calcium-enriched Almond Breeze milk substitute, available in Original, Chocolate, Vanilla and Unsweetened Vanilla. The Almond Breeze line contains half the calories of 1% milk, thus helping Blue Diamond rake in a 917.7% leap in sales.
Additionally, 8th Continent Soymilk, made by Stremick’s Heritage Foods, eked out a soaring 1,011.8% hurdle in sales with its team of light, fat free and omega-3 DHA-enhanced options.
While some consumers may stray from milk, processors are in position to garner consumer attention and fight the hype with a panel of new products and innovative flavors.