Milk 2.0: How the dairy industry plans to save milk

It’s been a rough few months for the American milk industry.

Cow milk marketings have been falling steadily for years. And its volatile costs — which are determined by an archaic system — squeeze dairy farmers and processors with each swaying. The pressures have stimulated it difficult for milk producers and buyers to compete with vertically integrated retailers, such as Kroger, which process milk themselves.

Meanwhile, the alternative milk sector is growing quickly. Retail sales of oat milk alone have shot up over 600% over a 12 -month period ending in November, and major coffee chains, including Starbucks and Dunkin’, are adding oat milk lattes to their menus. Although those sales pale in comparison to sales of traditional milk, they complicate an industry that has already been upended.

Taken together, it may seem like the milk business is collapsing. But that’s not the case, argued Marin Bozic, an assistant professor in University of Minnesota’s applied economics department.

Milk isn’t dying. It’s evolving.

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