Only Healthier Alternatives Show Growth in Milk Sales

As the U.S. consumer price index for dairy products declined roughly 6 percent in 2009, the fluid milk category at c-stores fell 13.8 percent for the year. Sales averaged $29,453 per store, $4,727 less than the previous year. The total industry combined for sales of almost $4.2 billion, down $680 million and 14 percent.

Whole milk continues to account for the majority of dollar sales. However, a decline of 16.6 percent in per-store sales caused the segment to drop a full 1.3 percentage points in dollar share, from 39.2 percent in 2008 to 37.9 percent in 2009.

Skim/non-fat milk saw the biggest decline, falling 17 percent to average sales of $2,236 per store. Both 2% and 1% milk also fell in sales, by 14.8 percent and 9.2 percent per store, respectively. Flavored milk had the smallest decline, down 7.1 percent to sales of $2,161 per store.

Interestingly, the only segment to post a sales gain is all other fluid milk products, which includes soy-based products, lactose-free and aseptic milk. These products combined to post $1,520 per store, an increase of 3.7 percent for the year. This smallest category in terms of sales had the largest jump in share of dollar sales, from 4.3 percent in 2008 to 5.2 percent in 2009.

In terms of package sizes, gallons are most popular at c-stores, with just over half of category sales coming from 128-ounces packages (52.9 percent). Pints (16 ounces) rank second, with 19.9 percent of sales, followed by half-gallons (64 ounces) at 17.3 percent and quarts (32 ounces) at 7.6 percent.
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