Organic dairy may face tough 2012
Low prices for conventional dairy products sucked the sales out of the organic market in 2009, as retail price gaps prompted recession-weary consumers to trade down. Sales have since rebounded mightily. Conventional prices rose, the retail gap shrank, and organic dairy grew 9% in 2010, with similar growth projected through 2011, according to Nutrition Business Journal data.
But high prices for organic feed stock and decreased milk production through the sweltering summer of 2011 may push up organic dairy prices heading into 2012. Competition stands to increase, with market leaders like Horizon and Organic Valley looking to differentiate with branded kids' products and added-value goods, like DHA-enhanced milk. Fringe trends, like raw and fine-filtered milk, have yet to pick up much steam.