Retail Dairy Sales Higher During COVID-19 Pandemic

Monday was celebrated as National Milk day, with the National Milk Producers Federation sharing some good news with the beleaguered U.S. dairy industry. “From March 8 to March 22, as stay-at-home orders and business closures proliferated around the country, dairy products flew off store shelves,” the group said in an announcement. “Milk sales were 43 percent higher than during the same period a year ago, while yogurt rose 31 percent, ice cream sales gained 40 percent, and cheese sales also climbed 76 percent.” The NMPF says butter sales more than doubled during the same period. However, the federation also points out that, “Pre-coronavirus, about half of all dairy sales came from outside the home. Even as retail consumers increased dairy buying, sales to restaurants, schools, and cafeterias dropped sharply. That price turbulence led to sharp declines in the USDA’s milk price forecast for 2020.” The organization says that’s a big reason why federal assistance for dairy farms has been so important.

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