Rising Plant-Based Consumption Causes Milk Giant, Dean Foods to Close Major Facility

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As plant-based alternatives continue to grow in popularity, animal by-products are on the short end of the stick.

Recent reporting states that the dairy-alternative market could exceed $24 billion USD within the next eight years, which is a 12.4 percent since 2017. 

One such company experiencing the negative impact of rising dairy-alternatives is milk giant Dean Foods. As a result, the dairy manufacturer will be shutting down one of its main facilities located in Illinois this September.

Known for its manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of dairy-based products like milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, the closure will be one of many for the company.

In Dean Foods’ 2017 annual investor report, decreased dairy consumption trends were accredited as to why the plants will be shut down.

"The challenges faced in 2017 served as a catalyst to drive a sense of urgency around programmatic and structural changes in the second half of the year and into 2018," the report said.

These facility closures aren’t the only measures Dean Foods has taken. Earlier this month the company announced that it increased its ownership percentage in leading brand of flaxseed-based milk alternatives, Good Karma.

The plant-based company’s products are all free of major allergens, with high nutritional benefits and a neutral flavor. This has allowed Dean Foods to reach its consumers who are turning to plant-based dairy-alternatives, as well as gain consumers that weren’t previously on its radar.

“Good Karma is a fast-growing brand that gets us back into the growing plant-based food and beverage category, making it an excellent addition to our portfolio,” said Ralph Scozzafava, CEO of Dean Foods. “Our investment in Good Karma is just one example of how we are executing against one of the major pillars of our strategic plan, to build and buy strong brands.”

While Dean Foods is experiencing facility closures, with a majority stake of a growing plant-based company, the milk giant can expect some good karma of its own in the future.

Read more about Dean Foods at “Plant Based.