Sales of Whole and 2 Percent Milk Outpace Skim and Fat Free in Florida

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Florida Dairy Farmers says regardless of milk preference, dairy lovers can continue to enjoy their favorites as part of a well-balanced diet.

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Penny for penny dairy delivers one of the best nutritional values of any food group. And for only about 25 cents per 8-ounce glass, milk remains one of the best ways to ensure your family’s diet is nutritious and balanced during these hard economic times.

A lot of Floridians like their milk whole.

Grocery store sales in the sunshine state show that 30.6 percent of the milk sold through April 15 of this year was whole milk, while nearly the same amount – 29.5 percent – was 2 percent. More than 18 percent of the milk sold was 1 percent, and nearly 21 percent was fat-free, according to data from SymphonyIRI, a market research company.

According to a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, there appears to be no relationship between full-fat dairy products and weight gain when consumed as part of a healthy diet. Further, researchers also found nothing to link higher fat products with poorer metabolic health or increased risk of diabetes.

Nutritionally speaking, all milk contains the same essential nutrients and vitamins, including protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, zinc and magnesium. Whole milk contains 8 grams of fat; 2 percent has 5 grams; 1 percent has 2 grams; fat free has 0 grams. There is 3.25 percent milk fat in whole milk.

Yet overall, milk sales have dropped 3.5 percent in the past year in Florida and 6.3 percent across the country. Higher prices could be part of the reason. In Florida the average price of a gallon of milk was $4.70, a 5 percent increase over last year. The average price for the entire country was $3.93, a 7 percent increase.

There are several reasons why declining milk sales in concerning, given that a glass of milk may be the ultimate weapon in the fight against osteoporosis, according to new research released in Australia. The study, conducted by the University of South Australia, found that increasing dairy intake to the daily recommended serving could have saved Australia’s national health-care system $112 million annually, while sparing 40,000 men and women from the degenerative bone disease.

According to Florida Dairy Farmers Registered Dietitian Alyssa Greenstein, “Penny for penny dairy still delivers one of the best nutritional values of any food group. And for only about 25 cents per 8-ounce glass, milk remains one of the best ways to ensure your family’s diet is nutritious and balanced during these hard economic times.”

Florida’s consumers also prefer their cheese to be whole and natural.

Sales of whole cheese were 76.6 percent of all cheese sold, up 2.8 percent. Sales of 2 percent were 21.7 percent, a drop of 3.3 percent. Sales of natural cheese were 79.3 percent, a 3.3 percent increase vs. processed cheese, which was 20.7 percent of sales, a 5.3 percent drop.

Unlike milk, though, shoppers in Florida prefer their yogurts to be either 1 percent milkfat or fat-free. Numbers show that of all yogurt sold during the first part of this year, 49.2 percent was 1 percent; 44.5 percent was fat free; 1.5 percent was 2 percent; and 4.8 percent was whole. Sales of whole yogurt were up 36 percent over the previous year, while sales of 1 percent yogurt were down 10.1 percent. Greek yogurt continues to be popular among shoppers. Its sales were 21.2 percent of all yogurt sales, up 47.1 percent over the year.

Regardless of preference, dairy lovers can continue to enjoy their favorites as part of a well-balanced diet.

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About Florida Dairy Farmers
Florida Dairy Farmers is Florida’s milk promotion group, working to enhance the image of the dairy farming industry and increase milk and dairy product sales statewide via education and marketing. FDF is one of 18 member organizations of the United Dairy Industry Association and carries out the programs of Dairy Management Inc., the umbrella organization based in Chicago, Ill. For more information, call 407-647-8899 or visit http://www.floridamilk.com.

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Noel Perkins
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