Read the latest issue of The Dairy Bar, a bi-weekly report from IDFA partner Ever.Ag. 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: Major Retailers Offer Holiday Meal Bundles; Cottage Cheese Makes a Comeback; and State of the American Consumer in a Minute!
Quick Bites: Cottage Cheese Comeback
- Cottage cheese, a diet fad food of the 1970s, is making a comeback thanks in large part to social media trends. With influencers adding the curds to ice cream, pancakes and pasta, retail cottage cheese sales jumped past $1 billion in May and are expected to remain robust through the end of the year.
- Manufacturers are working hard to keep up with increased demand. Through September, cottage cheese production reached 534 million pounds, up 10% year-over-year, per USDA’s latest Dairy Products report.
- With plenty of demand, retailers are keeping promotional activity relatively stable. In October, an average of 2,776 stores ran advertisements for 16-ounce tubs of conventional cottage cheese. That was on par with 2,780 outlets during the same time last year. Prices have also held relatively steady, at $2.46 in October 2023, compared to $2.43 during the same period in 2022.
- As inflation takes its toll on grocery budgets, major retailers are stepping up Thanksgiving promotions to make the upcoming holiday a bit more affordable.
- In a recent survey, Walmart found 92% of its customers are concerned about higher food costs. As a result, the big-box retailer plans to offer a Thanksgiving bundle that will include enough ingredients to feed up to 10 people – at a cost around $2 less than 2022. Target will also sell a similar holiday basket that feeds four, for $25. Meanwhile, Aldi will provide 50% savings on 70 Thanksgiving items, with deals lasting through December.
- Consumers will also pay less for turkeys this year after a drop in avian flu helped boost this year’s bird population by 2%-3% in July alone. The extra supply is weighing on prices, which now average $1.47 per pound, down 9% from October 2022. Shoppers are expected to pick up more birds in response, with the American Farm Bureau Federation projecting a 6% increase in demand this year to about 15.5 pounds of turkey per person.
- But with food prices up 3.7% from last September, shoppers will pay more for other Thanksgiving staples. Per data from Wells Fargo, ham prices reached an all-time high in September at $4.56 per pound, up 5% year-over-year. The cost of potatoes (+2.7%), canned pumpkins (+30%) and canned green beans (+9%) are also higher.