If sales data are any indication, more consumers are saying goodbye to coffee filters, tea bags and the long wait to brew. According to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI, dollar sales within the shelf-stable ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee category shot up 9.5% during the 52 weeks ending Aug. 8, 2021, to $7,647.5 million. Unit sales increased 3.0% to 3,044.1 million.
When we last reported on sales within the U.S. refrigerated retail milk category back in our February issue, the situation was quite rosy. Dollar sales had risen significantly during the 52-week reporting period, and unit sales growth was solid, too.
When we last covered sales within the retail ice cream/sherbet category (in our January 2021 issue), the segment was enjoying double-digit growth in both dollars and units. Eight months later — with stay-at-home dictates over and many consumers no longer indulging in as many comfort foods — retail ice cream/sherbet sales are not soaring quite as high.
The Chicago Mercantile corn contract traded over $7.00 the first week of May, which is the first time we’ve seen that since 2013. Dairy futures, and maybe even spot prices, have been pulled higher by the increasing feed prices.
For the second year in a row, Dairy Foods has good news to share about the retail juice category, a segment that had been experiencing a multi-year decline. According to data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI, two of the four juice categories actually posted impressive dollar and unit sales increases during the 52 weeks ending March 21, 2021.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers ate at home more often during the past year — and many of them baked and cooked up a storm, too. That reality translated into rosy sales at retail for a number of cultured dairy categories.
Cultured dairy products, dairy products fermented with lactic acid bacteria, have been around for absolutely ages. The COVID-19 pandemic and a bit of innovation on the part of dairy processors, however, have combined to build consumer demand in a number of cultured dairy segments during the past year or so.
The past year saw reduced demand for cheese on the foodservice side, thanks to widespread pandemic-related restaurant closures and indoor dining bans. However, the picture was much brighter on the retail cheese side.
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