Dean Food’s, which is America’s largest milk producer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Mercer County based business had struggled in recent years due to less Americans drinking milk.
So what does this mean for Butler County-based Marburger Dairy? Company Vice President Craig Marburger says they have invested in other products to replace declining milk sales.
“We’ve replaced some of our milk business with buttermilk,” Marburger said. “It makes everything pretty-well even in our business.”
Marburger’s buttermilk is now available in 18 different states.
So why does Marburger believe that Americans are drinking less milk?
“It started with school chocolate milk. They switched it to skim chocolate milk and I think we lost a generation of milk drinkers,” Marburger said.
He did cite that some schools are bringing back one percent chocolate milk, which he thinks will help re-connect a new generation of students to drinking milk again.
“Some of these kids have no idea what actual chocolate milk tastes like,” Marburger said.
Although it’s not a a large percentage of the market, new alternatives to milk have also claimed former customers who bought cows milk. Marburger says products like almond milk and soy milk now have 10 to 15 percent of the market.
“That adds up to a lot of milk,” Marburger said. “The more those items are on the shelf, the more potential they have to take the market.”
Marburger also told our newsroom they have a loyal local following and appreciate the support area consumers have given them for years.