Retail milk sales have soured of late. Dollar sales within the refrigerated milk category fell 1.5% to $14,274.0 million during the 52 weeks ending Nov. 28, 2021, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Unit sales tumbled 4.6% to 4,736.1 million.
After years of riding in the slow lane, the retail milk category got a pandemic-related jump last year. But since COVID-19-related panic buying subsided and some normalcy returned in 2021, milk sales felt the gridlock once again.
Yin Woon Rani, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), joins us for episode three of the "Let's Talk Dairy" podcast. Rani brings nearly 25 years of integrated marketing experience across CPG companies and marketing agencies to her MilkPEP position.
Up until only recently, milk sales in U.S. retail outlets had been on a decades-long decline. As the coronavirus forced many consumers to work, study and/or eat at home, however, retail milk sales benefited.
After seeing declines year after year, the milk category (at least at retail) now seems to be pulling rabbits out of a hat. Dollar sales in the overall category rose 7.8% to $16,330.1 million during the 52 weeks ending Sept. 6, 2020, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI.
At first glance, it seems that milk hasn't been dealt the best hand. But the beverage isn't considering folding: While purchasing numbers have declined in recent years, it's still present in 91% of American households, according to the September 2019 "Eating Trends: Meat, Dairy, Vegetarian, and Vegan" report from the Packaged Facts division of Rockville, Md.-based MarketResearch.com.
It's no secret that the fluid milk category has been struggling at retail for quite some time. However, sales of flavored milk and whole milk actually made some impressive gains in the not-too-distant past.