2012 Milk & Dairy Beverages in the U.S.

2012 Milk & Dairy Beverages in the U.S.

Published: December 2012
Publisher: Beverage Marketing Corporation
Product ref: 154808
Pages: 251
Format: PDF
Delivery: By product vendor

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This report includes data on production, consumption, flavors, milk by fat content and advertising expenditures. It analyzes the forces reshaping the industry, such as consolidation in both production and retail outlets, pricing and health matters and addresses packaging and distribution. It also covers flavored dairy-based shelf-stable beverages, yogurt drinks and creamers.

The flavored milk market underwent a growth spurt for about a decade between the mid-1990s and the first half decade of the 2000s - rising from less than 5% to more than 8% of the category. Since 2007, the picture has been mixed. The declines for flavored milk volume in 2007 and 2008 were largely attributable to historically high prices, which affected flavored milk more than white milk - not an unusual circumstance in the milk category.

  • Considered by consumers to be a treat or indulgence that they can live without or make at home, flavored milk has been especially sensitive to price increases - much more so than white milk, which is considered a household staple.
  • Flavored milk's price elasticity works well when the product is promoted or sold at a discount, but works against the segment when prices go up, as was evidenced in 2007 and continued in 2008.
  • By late 2009, flavored milk started to rebound, as prices moved down, and as dairy processors increasingly featured the product to drive up their brand sales.
  • But 2010 and especially 2011 into 2012 have been increasingly tough times for the milk business, between the deep recession suffered in the U.S., and milk prices remaining high. Flavored milk once again became a nice to have, but expendable occasional treat rather than an omni-present beverage in consumers' consideration sets.
  • It remains to be seen whether the most recent uptick in flavored milk sales in the third quarter of 2012 is sustainable. A few market elements are likely driving the sales growth - one being a slight decline in the price of flavored milk. Additionally, the marketing efforts touting chocolate milk as an effective post-workout recovery beverage might also be having an impact, enticing new consumers into the category. There is also a strong new national player on the market, Dean Foods' True Moo, which is spending behind the brand and pushing distribution.

True Moo is one of only a few national flavored milk products, along with NesQuik, Hershey's and Horizon Organic. Flavored milk segment volume, unlike white milk, is dominated by brands rather than private label products. In recent years, however, private label flavored milk has outperformed branded and thereby gained share.

  • The price differential between private label and branded chocolate milks, particularly in the weak economic environment, is a certain driver of private label's share growth.

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Related research categories

By sector: Dairy (in Soft drinks), General drinks

By market: United States (in North America)

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