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In dairy, natural cheese was once of the top 10 gainers in June, with dollar sales rising 11% year over year.

Dairy product sales grow by double-digits

Category’s June performance shows ‘demand is holding strong,’ IDDBA says

Boosted in part by inflation, dollar sales in the dairy department climbed by double digits in June.

Dairy category sales totaled just under $5.1 billion for the month, up 16.3% year over year, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) reported in its June marketplace update, based on IRI Total U.S. Integrated Fresh data from the multi-outlet retail channel. Unit sales, however, declined 2.4% from a year ago.

“The four June weeks generated a little over $5 billion in dairy sales, an increase of 16.3% year on year,” Jessica Ives, professional development coordinator at IDDBA, stated in the report. “The consistency of the weekly sales levels, all at least $1.2 billion, is encouraging, as it means demand is holding strong — certainly when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The biggest week was the week leading up to Father’s Day, with weekly sales of $1.3 billion.”

By dollar sales, the top 10 gainers among dairy products in June were eggs (+49.9% year over year); butter/margarine (+20.9%); cream cheese (+18%); sour cream (+17.2%); milk (+14.3%); cream/creamers (+13.7%); whipped toppings (+12.6%); cottage cheese (+11.3%); and natural cheese, yogurt and processed cheese all at +11%. The only down segments by dollars were dairy alternative cheese (-6%) and cheese snack kits (-3.2%).

“Milk was easily the biggest seller in June 2022, at $1.3 billion. The next-biggest sellers were natural cheese and eggs,” Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics LLC, wrote in the IDDBA report. “Eggs moved over yogurt with very high inflation. Due to supply chain challenges and avian influenza, the average price per unit for eggs has increased to $4.10, which is 51.5% more than it was in June 2021.”

Price hikes hoisted dairy dollar sales in June. The average price per unit came in at $3.43 for the month, up 19.2% from a year earlier. That marked an uptick from price-per-unit increases of 12.7% in the 2022 first quarter and 17.1% in the second quarter — and remained well above the 2.7% average gain for 2021.

“On a per unit basis, deli inflation was right around the total average price increase seen across total food and beverages. Bakery — covering both in-aisle and perimeter baked goods — and dairy inflation were above average in June 2022 versus year ago,” Roerink observed.

The food-at-home Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June surged by 12.2% year over year, vaulting the 11.9% gain in May and marking the largest 12-month increase since the period through April 1979, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

All six major grocery store food group indices rose over the 12-month span through June, with five of the six up more than 10%, BLS reported. The index for dairy and related products climbed 13.5% (unadjusted), exceeded only by other food-at-home (+14.4%) and cereals and bakery products (+13.8%).

Three of the four dairy subsegments saw double-digit inflation growth in the year through June, led by milk at 16.4% (17.1% for fresh whole milk), other dairy and related products at 15.9%, and ice cream and related products at 12.5%. Cheese and related product prices rose 9.7% year over year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, dairy and related product pricing was up 1.7% month over month for June, reflecting upticks of 0.8% for milk (0.1% for fresh whole milk), 1% for cheese and related products, 4% for ice cream and related products, and 1.9% for other dairy and related products.

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