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Dairy Retail Sales Up More Than 10% Compared to 2019

Taylor Leach

August 27, 2021

Despite stay-at-home orders, restaurant closings and some processors being forced to dump milk, dairy product sales beat all odds and rose to new highs during a global pandemic. In 2020, retail sales in the dairy sector grew 15.7% compared to pre-pandemic sales seen in 2019. This skyrocket can be attributed to more consumers cooking and baking at home, with dairy products being a star ingredient. While retail sales are down 4.8% during the first half of the year compared to 2020, 2021 is still shaping up to be an impressive year in the dairy aisle.

According to IRI and the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, dairy sales have generated $29.6 billion during the first six months of 2021. Year-over-year, natural cheese, creamers and refrigerated dips have helped bolster this growth, racking in a combined $22 billion from May 2020 to May 2021. Whipped toppings also saw huge growth during this period, climbing 15.5% when compared to 2019.

Even though dairy sales dropped 4.8% when compared to 2020, dairy retail sales are up 10.9% compared to sales seen in 2019. “The shopping habits that have been created (during the pandemic) will likely remain, especially as people have grown more accustomed to spending more time and enjoying more meals at home,” Andrew Wasserman, director of center store at Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace, told Supermarket News. “While the initial spike in volume from the beginning of the pandemic will not be there this year, the sustained growth that these categories have experienced will remain.”


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