Dairy Industry Struggles as Milk Alternatives on the Rise

December 5, 2016 01:32 PM
Almond Soy Milk

Dairy farmers continue to struggle with declining business as the popularity of milk alternatives is continuing to rise.

Alternatives to dairy milk, which include almond milk, soy milk and rice milk, are becoming more popular for various reasons.

Madison's Willy Street Co-op grocery category manager Dean Kallas said the biggest reason is due to dairy allergies, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. Some people, who are vegetarian or vegan, may opt for a milk substitute because they don't want to drink dairy, said Kallas.

He said the co-op has recently introduced two new alternatives, split pea milk and hemp milk, which will also be thrown onto shelves.

Even with dairy milk sales continuing to dominate the market, Jordan Rost with the global marketing research firm Nielsen, says almond milk has an 8 percent growth rate. Another market research firm, BCC Research, said global market milk alternatives in 2014 reached $5.8 billion.

Tina Hinchley, a dairy farmer in Deerfield and a member of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, said the dairy industry is struggling because of the drop in milk prices, which are a lot lower now than they were a few years ago.

"It's not only the almond milk — it's the soy, it's the rice, it's all the different varieties of stuff. (And) now you have juices as well in the dairy case," she said.

She noted that any option kids can consume is competition for the milk industry.

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Spell Check

Leigh Ann Wagner Kroening
Abrams, WI
12/24/2016 08:58 AM

  Not only is it biologically wrong for any animal to drink the milk of another animal, the dairy industry is cruel to cows and is wreaking havoc on the planet and human health. As nutritional science continues to unveil the fallacies of meat and dairy and prove the many benefits of a plant-based diet, the demand for dairy and meat will continue to decline. All the government subsidies in the world will not be able to save an industry that is continuing to lose consumer support. Farmers who foster the demand for fruits, veggies, and legumes will succeed to the benefit of human health and the environment, and those who continue to produce meat and dairy will fail. I encourage everyone to watch the documentaries "Forks Over Knives" and "Cowspiracy" to review the scientific evidence and to denounce the propaganda that is being force fed to us from Big Ag.

Cypress, TX
12/23/2016 08:08 AM

  What's worse: drinking from a plant or drinking from an animal's breasts when it isn't your mom and you're not a baby? Someone is angry because they are "losing 11% of their profits each year, and growing." (CBS News)

Wall, NJ
12/23/2016 10:12 AM

  There's a reason there's so many allergies and intolerances to it. It's not meant for us, and it's not meant for adults period. I'll never understand why people think it's normal to drink breast milk from a cow


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