Dairy Product Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,160 dairy product manufacturers in the US produce dairy products from raw milk, processed milk, and dairy substitutes. Fluid milk products include milk of varying fat content, milk substitutes, cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt. Other major product categories are cheese and cheese-substitute products; dry, condensed, and evaporated products; creamery butter; and ice cream and frozen dessert products.

Food Safety Compliance

Dairy foods are among the most regulated foods in the US, due to the fact that raw milk can contain any number of dangerous pathogenic organisms.

Falling Milk Consumption

Per capita, fluid milk consumption in the US has been trending downward for more than 70 years and fell at a faster rate during the 2010s than in each of the previous six decades.

Industry size & Structure

The average dairy product manufacturer has about 133 employees, operates a single location and generates $121 million in annual revenue.

    • The industry consists of about 1,160 companies employing 159,400 workers and generating $141 billion in annual revenue.
    • There are about 245 fluid milk processors employing about 54,200 workers.
    • There are about 400 cheese manufacturers with 56,790 employees.
    • The 385 ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers in the US employ about 22,125 workers.
    • The dairy product manufacturing industry is highly concentrated - the top 20 companies account for 51% of industry revenue.
    • Large US dairy product manufacturers include Nestle USA, Dean Foods, Schreiber Foods, Land O'Lakes, and Kraft Heinz Foods.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Dairy Product Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Oct 23, 2023 - Falling Prices, Rising Costs
                                • Dairy products inventories rose in June compared to a year ago as shipments fell over the same period. Producer prices for dairy products manufacturers fell in August year over year although they ticked up slightly versus July. Producer prices for the dairy products industry have trended downward over the past year after peaking in July 2022 following a steep runup. Overall employment by dairy products manufacturers is relatively flat, although average industry wages continued to rise in July and were up sharply versus May.
                                • Walmart plans to break ground on a $350 million milk processing and bottling facility in Georgia later this year that will serve more than 750 Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores in the Southeast, according to Dairy Reporter. The retail giant opened its first owned-and-operated processing plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2018. Other large supermarket chains also operate milk processing facilities. Walmart says the move is designed to make its supply chain more transparent and ensure the availability of a key grocery staple. “It will bolster our capacity to meet the demand for high-quality milk while making our supply chain more resilient,” according to a company blog post. Walmart’s move to wrest control of its milk supply has raised concern about market concentration, Retail Brew reports, noting milk and dairy foods company Dean Foods struggled following the opening of Walmart’s Indiana plant.
                                • The US dairy industry has grown significantly over the past two years, adding nearly 60,000 new jobs, increasing average wages by 11%, and increasing its total impact on the national economy by $41 billion, according to the latest economic impact report from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). The IDFA’s 2023 Economic Impact Study, which measures the combined impact of the dairy industry – including the milk, cheese, ice cream, cultured dairy products, and ingredients sectors – showed the US dairy industry’s economic impact totaled $793.75 billion. The biennial report, released in June, finds the domestic dairy industry supports 3.2 million total jobs, including 1.078 million jobs in dairy product manufacturing, up from 1.018 million jobs in 2021. It contributes $49 billion in direct wages for dairy workers, up from $42 billion in direct wages in 2021, and accounts for 3% of US GDP.
                                • Action in Congress seeks to return whole milk to school cafeterias, Progressive Dairy reports. In June, US Senator Roger Marshall M.D. (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation – the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act (S.1957) – to amend the federal school lunch program guidelines to allow unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias. A similar bill (H.R.1147) was recently approved by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The Senate bill would require schools to include “whole, reduced-fat, low-fat, and fat-free” milk as options in the National School Lunch program, and to exempt milk from USDA saturated fat limits established in the National School Lunch Act. Current law requires flavored milk in schools must be fat-free, though schools may seek a waiver to offer low-fat (1%) flavored milk. The legislation is supported by the National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association.
                                Get A Demo

                                Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                check out Vertical IQ today.

                                Request A Demo