Milk Sales Get Boost from Pandemic

Aug. 4, 2020
Sales of liquid milk are back on the rise after years of decline, another example of consumption habits roiled by the pandemic.

Sales of liquid milk are back on the rise after years of decline, another example of consumption habits roiled by the pandemic.

Sales for the year through July 18 rose 8.3% to $6.4 billion, according to Nielsen sales figures cited by the Associated Press. During the same period last year, they were down 2.3%.

Milk apparently was one of the staple foods consumers turned to during the pandemic, with year-over-year sales seeing a 21% jump in March. Dairy farmers and processors are hoping the trend will have legs, which it appears to: Year-over-year sales kept rising in June, although by a more modest 2%.

Despite the increased at-home demand, milk processing hit some hurdles early in the pandemic, when institutional and restaurant sales diminished demand for both liquid milk and cheese. That led to some farmers being forced to dump their milk because it couldn’t be processed in time by plants that were still geared for foodservice production.

The dairy industry is trying to hold on to the momentum gained during the pandemic. The Milk Processor Education Program is bringing back the milk mustache campaign with the “Got Milk?” tagline, six years after it was retired. Said the program’s CEO: “Sometimes the answer you’re looking for is right under your nose.”

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