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America’s Largest Milk Producer Declares Bankruptcy

Dean Foods, American’s largest milk producer, announced today the company is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Due to a decades-long drop in U.S. milk consumption with a rise in plant-based milk options, the company said it has been unable to escape the effects of traditional milk’s decline as consumers seek alternatives.

“Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-effective, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption,” Eric Beringause, Dean Foods president and CEO, stated in a press release Tuesday. “Importantly, we are continuing to provide customers with an uninterrupted supply of high-quality dairy products, as well as supporting our dairy suppliers and other partners.”

According to Scott Wallin, vice president of industry media relations and issues management for Dairy Management Inc., the U.S. dairy community remains a strong and diverse sector, achieving consistent growth for 25 years in retail worth over $100 billion. Dairy sales are up 2.5% as of August 2019 with cheese and butter at an all-time consumption high.

Dean Foods has over 50 brands and dairy products including Dairy Pure ®, Organic Valley ®, Land O’ Lakes®, and TruMoo® and is working with Dairy Farmers of America to purchase the assets.

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