US dairy industry in “crisis” as consumption sinks11 December 2012
A 30% dip in US milk consumption since 1975 has put the industry is in crisis, according to trade association Dairy Management.
The dairy industry "is coming to recognise this as a crisis. We cannot simply assume that we will always have a market," Tom Gallagher, Dairy Management’s chief executive told The Wall Street Journal.
Rising prices, a switch in consumption to bottled water products, fears over the calorie-content of milk and an ageing US population have been blamed for the situation.
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed that Americans consumed on average around 20.2 gallons last year, 3.3% down on the previous year. The slide represents the largest year-on-year decline since 1975 and bucks a trend of increased consumption of other dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese.
However, Gallagher said that the industry has attempted to stem the decline through product and marketing innovations. These include the introduction of smaller package sizes, high protein products aimed at sports enthusiasts and healthier varieties.
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