The latest comprehensive retail sales snapshot from Dairy Management, Inc., showed bad news for milk, cheese, and yogurt sales.


The report, issued this morning but through representing data through May 18, showed milk volume sales down 5.5% as milk prices were up 9%. In the fluid milk category, value-added products are growing, up 5.2 percent, and now take 7% of the volume share for fluid milk. Organic and lactose free milk, part of the value-added category, are up 7%. Meanwhile, although it’s just 0.02% of volume sales, non-homogenized milk is up 151% in sales, and grass-fed is up 345% (though it’s a miniscule 0.003% of sales.High prices send fluid, cheese, and yogurt sales falling

Still, 96% of households bought milk in the last year, although that’s down from 97% three years ago. Those buying milk buy just 35 gallons a year, down from almost 39 in 2011. 25% of households buy flavored milk, which is down from 29% in 2011.

Regionally, milk sales were down in every single region, with the Southeast being the “best” with only 2.1% less sales, year to date. Whole milk is up 1.2% while skim is down 12.3%


Cheese sales are also down 4.7%, but year-to-date sales were flat. A big part of the reason may be the 9% rise in cheese prices versus last year. But Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Colby Jack sales are up while American and Swiss are down versus last year.

Low fat cheese are up 9.7%, and whole fat cheeses are up 0.8%. But reduced fat cheese fell 2.2% and fat free cheese fell nearly 8%.


Greek yogurt continues to shine with 18% growth and 36% volume share of the yogurt category. Sales for all yogurt were down 4.8% in May, as prices were up 4% over last year. Reduced fat content yogurt is up 10.8%. Yogurts labeled for digestive properties have fallen significantly in volume, year-to-date.

Source: Dairy Management, Inc. Milk, Cheese, Yogurt Monthly Insight Report: Sales & Consumer Insights (May 18th)