The Dairy Case Is More Competitive Than Ever

The Dairy Case Is More Competitive Than Ever

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, per capita consumption of fluid milk was a record-low 18 gallons per person in 2016, and it’s expected to remain low with fluid milk sales in June 2018 down 4 percent from prior-year levels and down 2 percent year-to-date. At the same time, household scanner data from Information Resources Inc. suggest that sales of plant- and nut-based beverages will reach a record high in 2018. 

A recent analysis by USDA using IRI data revealed that the market share of plant-based milk analogs, i.e. imitation milk made from almonds, coconut or soy, rose from 5.7 percent in 2013 to 7.6 percent in 2015. USDA, however, has not recently updated the market share information of these plant- and nut-based beverages. To provide insight on sales trends for these products since 2015, IRI scanner data from 2015 to July 2018 was used to estimate market shares of dairy and plant- and nut-based beverages, review regional trends in plant- and nut-based beverage consumption and estimate the prices of the competing products.