Milk-ageddon is here, and it’s the end of dairy as we know it

America’s largest milk producer, Dean Foods, filed for bankruptcy due to decreasing demand for cow milk.

November 14, 2019

Friendly’s is frowning. The Land O’Lakes are drying up. TruMoo is a sad, chocolate-flavored lie. 

This week, we all have reason to cry over spilt milk: Dean Foods, America’s largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy

So, how did the dairy dynasty dry up?

It’s a case of cultural lactose intolerance: Last year, the average American consumed 146 pounds of milk –– 39% less than the average American consumed in 1975, and the lowest amount ever recorded since the US Department of Agriculture began monitoring milk mustaches.

Dean Foods, which still operates 60 dairy processing facilities in 29 states, was udderly overwhelmed by such sour business conditions. The company’s sales have fallen 38% in the past decade despite Dean’s efforts to cut costs.

So Dean Foods –– which owns and operates brands like Friendly’s ice cream and Dairy Pure milk that are beloved by lactose lovers everywhere –– filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize its debt, satisfy pension obligations, and keep the lights on.

Now, Dean Foods is looking for a buyer

According to a statement, Dean is in conversations with the Dairy Farmers of America, a massive milk marketing cooperative.

The company secured $850m in funding to keep the milk moving during the sale process. 

In the meantime, we hope you like oat milk: Oat milk sales, while much smaller by total volume, increased 636% last year while sales of all types of cow’s milk (1%, 2%, skim, fat-free) declined. 

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