Micheal Clements, NAFB News Service
Data shows dairy is bringing some comfort during a challenging time. Throughout the market ups and downs of the pandemic era, consumers love of dairy products has been constant, even rising in 2020 from 2019, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. Retail dairy purchases, which jumped at the pandemic’s beginning, remained elevated throughout the year. With more meals being prepared at home, dairy has provided comfort in uncomfortable times. Coffee was complemented with real dairy cream or half-and-half. Milk remained essential to family nutrition. Milk consumption itself saw gains across all categories. Buttermilk use rose with the baking revival, organic and conventional volumes of fluid milk rose, and lactose-free milk saw increases comparable to those of plant-based beverages – which, is a comparably-sized market to that of lactose-free alone. Milk sales also grew more than plant-based beverages during the pandemic, nearly $1 billion in growth compared to less than $400 million for plant-based drinks.