Although the state of inflation in the U.S. seems to be leveling off, dairy remains unaffected. As of January 2023, dairy prices continue to steadily climb. “All areas within dairy experienced decreased unit sales in January 2023, especially eggs, yogurt, processed cheese and milk,” said Whitney Atkins, President of Marketing for the IDDBA.
As prices grow dollar sales are increasing while sale in units are decreasing. Fifty-two week movement charts milk unit sales decreasing by 6.3%, eggs decreasing 8.4%, and cheese down in units by 4.4%. Although data may be slightly skewed as variables like supply interruptions have not been factored in.
Although unpredictable, dairy will remain a keystone in the market and continue to endure. Despite inflation, the dairy category is strong because milk, butter, yogurt, and eggs are still essential items for consumers. As the market continues to shift, retailers balance assortments to offset costs. Some are adjusting promotions and balancing the category with plant-based alternatives.
Currently, cow milk dominates the market with 70% of category sales. Yet, plant-based alternatives have been on the rise and continue to increase with the concern of environmental impacts of farming and sustainable practices.
Inflation is driven by rising costs of doing business. This uphill battle hopefully will reach a plateau and level off. Though one thing is certain, dairy is a staple and consumers will continue to seek it out, whether it is animal sourced or not.