"> Retail dairy sales strong in September - eDairyNews-EN
Food spending at retail grocery stores remained highly elevated in September, with the dairy aisle a popular area, according to a monthly update from the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).
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September 2020 marked the seventh consecutive month in which the value of retail dairy sales was double-digit higher (on a percentage basis) than the same month a year earlier, said Abrielle Backhaus, IDDBA research coordinator.

Based on Information Resources Inc. (IRI) U.S. grocery store sales data updated through the week ending Sept. 27, overall September 2020 retail dairy sales were up 13.6% by value compared with September 2019. Natural cheese and milk were the two dominant players in the dairy department during the month, generating upward of $1 billion each in the four-week period.

Monthly natural cheese sales were up 19.1% on a value basis and 12.9% on a volume basis compared with September 2019. Retail butter sales were up 16% by value and 24.5% by volume. Fluid milk sales were up 9.7% in value and 2.1% in volume. Other products and year-over-year sales increases (value and volume, respectively) were: yogurt, 1.3% and 1.8%; processed cheese, 16.9% and 8.7%; cream cheese, 25.2% and 14.4%; and sour cream, 13.2% and 14.7%

In the deli department, random weight natural cheese remained a sales growth leader, up 13.2% by value and 6.8% by volume.

There may be some clouds on the horizon. According to an IRI primary shopper survey conducted in late September, only 29% of consumers expect to host or attend a Thanksgiving meal with extended family who do not live with them. That’s down from 48% last year. Early indications for December holiday celebrations and grocery spending suggest a similar impact as Thanksgiving,

2020 fluid sales volumes updated

Those strong retail sales recorded by IRI likely contributed to an overall increase in fluid milk sales through the first half of the year. Although it lags retail sales information, the latest USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service data shows 2020 fluid milk sales were higher through June 2020.

Total sales: June 2020 sales of packaged conventional and organic fluid milk totaled 3.6 billion pounds, up 5.4% compared to June 2019. Year-to-date (January-June) 2020 sales totaled 23.3 billion pounds, up 1.4% compared to the same period in 2019.

Conventional products: June 2020 sales of conventional products totaled just under 3.4 billion pounds, up 4.5% from the previous year. January-June 2020 sales of conventional products totaled 21.9 billion pounds, up 0.6% from the previous year. Through the first half of the year, whole milk was the growth leader, up nearly 6%, with sales of reduced fat (2% milk) up 3%. All other categories were lower.

Organic products: June 2020 sales of organic products at 237 million pounds were up 20% from a year earlier. January-June 2020 sales of organic products totaled 1.4 billion pounds, up more than 14% from the previous year. Among individual varieties, sales growth leaders whole and 2% milk. Through June, organic represented about 6.2% of total fluid product sales.

The U.S. figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) areas and California (now a part of the FMMO system), which account for approximately 92% of total fluid milk sales in the U.S. Sales outlets include food stores, convenience stores, warehouse stores/wholesale clubs, nonfood stores, schools, the food service industry and home delivery.

A dairy checkoff group says holiday demand for butter is strong this year. Suzanne Fanning with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin tells Brownfield sales have not fallen since the start of the pandemic.

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