New Product Trends
Hitting the Shelves: Dairy Dips
The precipitous dip in milk consumption has manufacturers adopting a variety of methods to staunch the bleeding sales.
According to USDA statistics, per capita U.S. milk consumption has fallen nearly 30% since 1975, and the decades-long decline has accelerated further in the era of bottled waters and energy drinks. However, the competition has not only impacted milk sales; many weight-conscious consumers are concerned about the perceived high calorie and fat content in certain milk products.
The USDA notes the average American consumed an average of 20.2 gallons of milk in 2011; the 3.3% decline from 2010 was the biggest annual decline since 1975, the agency reports. Sales through November 2012 do not suggest any turn-around last year: SymphonyIRI, assessing the market at U.S. retailers for all types of liquid milk, finds sales volume had fallen 2.9% through November, with dollar sales down 2.2%.
In efforts to re-establish milk sales, companies and retailers have turned to smaller, single-serving packages; health-oriented options; and are even petitioning to permit the incorporation of aspartame to allow for the positioning of milk in line with weight management trends. Dean Foods already has had some degree of luck with its positioning of its TruMoo as a low-sugar chocolate milk for children, while Shamrock Farms targeted the health-conscious with a muscle-building version of its high-protein Rockin’ Refuel, a milk resulting from a partnership with General Nutrition Centers.
Milk sales have seen a bright spot in the organic trend, where sales are managing to grow. But, organic milk sales have a small share of the milk market: They account for around 4% of overall milk retail sales, per Dairy Management.