Read the latest issue of The Dairy Bar, a bi-weekly report from IDFA partner Blimling and Associates, Inc., a dairy research and consulting firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. The Dairy Bar features spotlight data, key policy updates, and a one-minute video that covers timely topics for the dairy industry.

The Dairy Bar: Dairy Exports Strong in August; Cheese and Butter Consumption on the Rise; and the Per Capita Consumption Minute!

Quick Bites: A Taste of Dairy

  • Whether at the grocery store, their favorite restaurant or a school cafeteria, Americans are consuming plenty of dairy. Using stocks, production and trade data, estimates suggest U.S. cheese consumption totaled 8.7 billion pounds year-to-date through August. That’s up 3.8% or an additional 316 million pounds year-over-year – enough to top about 505 million large pizzas.
  • Consumers are also picking up plenty of quarter sticks, tubs and pats of butter. Butter consumption reached 1.3 billion pounds during the first eight months of the year. That’s a gain of 2.0% or +25.6 million pounds over prior-year levels – enough to bake 204 million chocolate chip cookies.
  • Persons familiar with scanner data say consumption through retail channels remained strong in September. Grocery purchases of cheese and butter both increased roughly 10% versus the same month in 2019.
  • Food service orders are also robust, particularly sales of cheese into quick-service chains. However, the dairy and food service industries are closely monitoring Delta variant cases, which could keep Americans out of restaurant dining rooms.

Today's Special

  • A steady stream of dairy products made their way out of the U.S. in August. Cheese exports totaled 81 million pounds for the month, down 1% from July but up 18% year-over-year. Of the top 10 export markets, Japan, Canada, Chile and Panama are all showing double-digit percentage increases in sales growth over this period last year.
  • Exports of nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder rose to 174.0 million pounds, up 8% month-over-month and +15% from the previous year. Shipments to Mexico totaled 73 million pounds, an increase of 13% on the month and +40% over prior-year levels. Reports suggest widespread drought conditions are weighing on the country’s milk and powder production.
  • Butter exports remain on the upswing, reaching 7 million pounds in August. That was down 13% on the month but a jump of 91% compared to August 2020. On the other side of the trade equation, butter imports increased to 11 million pounds, up 31% from July and +31% versus last year.
  • On the other hand, outbound shipments of dry whey are tapering, rising 4% on the month but declining 17% compared to the previous August. Shipments to China decreased 25% versus the prior month and -37% from the year before.
  • For more information on U.S. trade dynamics or policy, please contact Becky Rasdall, Vice President, Trade Policy and International Affairs at

Something Sweet: Per Capita Consumption Minute