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So long dairy! Dean Foods, the largest dairy company in the United States is closing yet another one of its milk processing plants, PET Dairy, in Richmond, VA because sales are so bad, according to Dairy Reporter.

PET Dairy has been in operation for more than 80 years with dairy plants in several states, producing a slew of dairy products but consumers are clearly done with even the most elaborate varieties of dairy considering this isn’t the first closure of a PET dairy plant. This latest closure follows others, including the closure of a Wisconsin plant in 2015, an Indiana plant the same year and closure of Lousiana-based Brown’s dairy in 2016.

This news doesn’t surprise us. The consumption of dairy has been facing a steady decline for decades. Today, Americans consume 37 percent less dairy than they did in 1970 and in the past year alone, consumption of low-fat milk plummeted by 13 percent. Not only that, but plant-based alternatives are on the rise. Within the past year, almond milk sales in the U.S. have risen by 4.2 percent, reaching just shy of being a $1 billion industry.

Dean Foods closing dairy plants due to poor sales is huge… The dairy industry has had a stronghold over U.S. consumers for decades – largely because of claims that dairy is the best way to get calcium and “build strong bones.” While these claims about the merits of milk and cheese have been blindly followed by many, consumers are starting to wake up. From concerns over growth hormones and antibiotics in milk to a rise in dairy allergies, and growing awareness of the environmental impact as well as animal welfare issues associated with milk, people are increasingly saying “see ya!” to dairy.

The dairy industry is still attempting to fight the “good” fight with celebrity athlete-driven campaigns like Milk Life, but when you consider the amount of new, innovative nondairy products that have been hitting the market, it seems like they’re just treading water. Perhaps Dean Food should take a cue from this 92-year-old dairy plant that made the switch to what people really want: plant-based milk. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Image source: katesheets/Flickr

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0 comments on “America’s Largest Dairy Processor Just Shut Down Another Plant Because Sales Are so Bad”

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10 Months Ago

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1 Years Ago


1 Years Ago

Who drinks milk/ Who eats cheese? Why kids of course. And me too, a retired adult. With America\'s declining birthrate the demand for milk is lower as there are fewer children. And why should these children drink milk. They don\'t want too because they have Coke, Pepsi, Orange, Ginger Ale which although loaded with sugar is much more delicious to children\'s palate. and its their preferred choice.. Perhaps now is the time for a milk management board so, one milk is available, and two farmers don;t go broke.

Renata Bartoli
17 Aug 2017

Farmer can start growing food for humans instead of for cattle: it would be decent, sustainable for the planet and much healthier for humans. Why on earth adult humans still drink the bodily secretion of another species made for their new-born babies is beyond me? That secretion is made to turn a little calf in a massive animal in the turn for few months: how healthy can it be for humans? Heart disease, cancer, diabetes ... Not to mention the appalling cruelty involved, but clearly you don\'t care about that.

Alessandra Ferrari
1 Years Ago

GREAT! Let us hope they all go out of business! And for those who profit from it? Let them starve! It is just what they deserve.

17 Aug 2017

I agree. Cows\' milk is for calves. Human mothers\' milk if for human babies... It is as simple as that. Drink milk substitutes.

1 Years Ago

Cows are repeatedly impregnated all their life to keep producing milk that is meant for their babies, but instead bottled for humans to drink. Their calves have plastic spikes fitted through their nose so they can\'t suckle from their mother.

Milk contains growth hormones so their baby can grow rapidly. Milk also contains IGF-1, which is linked to several cancers. As Dairy cows are treated like milking machines they can develop infections on their teat, which produces pus, and drips into the milk - per spoonful that is 1,120,000.

Dairy is an unnecessary product, calcium can easily be obtained from plant sources. After all, the minerals, proteins and omegas in animal flesh and their secretions comes from the plants they eat.

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