Total U.S. organic milk product sales in the first quarter of 2019 were down 4.5 percent.
That’s according to the latest USDA organic dairy report, which also showed that total fat-reduced milk sales were down 9 percent for the January-March period, which overwhelmed the 2.1 percent increase in total organic whole milk sales during the quarter.
Meanwhile, total organic milk products sales for the month of March were 202 million pounds, an 8.1 percent drop from the same month in 2018. Total organic whole milk sales for March, 89 million pounds, were down 1.4 percent compared with March last year, while fat-free organic milk sales were down 30 percent for the month.
Total U.S. sales of organic milk products (March 2019 and year-to-date)
Organic dairy retail overview
The volume of organic retail advertisements shows no significant change from last week’s survey. Interestingly, surveyed stores only offered ad specials on two organic items this week, milk and yogurt. Overall, organic milk ads grew by 31 percent, and organic yogurt ads increased 40 percent.
The biggest loser in organic ad numbers by region was the Southwest, which lost 82 percent of the retail ads this week, but in the Northeast, ads were up 101 percent for the largest gain. No ads were reported in Alaska.
The price spread for conventional and organic milk, in half gallon package, represents an organic premium of $2.50, up 37 cents from last week.
The price spread is the difference between national weighted average prices for organic, $4.62, and conventional, $2.12.
Organic milk owned 70 percent of total organic ads. The only other organic dairy commodity included this week, organic yogurt, collected the other 30 percent of total organic ads.