America’s biggest Milk producing company, Dean Foods has filed for chapter 11-bankruptcy protection. The decision has come amid a huge fall in demand due to the surging popularity of alternative milk products in recent years. The sales of the company have dropped enormously in recent times. The company has been facing many challenges with debt and pension. There has been a growing demand for alternative milk products such as oat milk and almond milk among miscellaneous consumers. The Dallas based company has said that it is planning to use the bankruptcy protection process to address debt and payment of unfunded pensions to its employees. Around 16000 employees have been working with Dean Foods. The company operates more than 60 processing facilities across the nation.
The age-old company has also announced that it is looking for a potential buyer. Dean Foods is already in talks with Dairy Farmers of America Inc to channelize a potential sale. Dairy Farmers of America Inc is a national milk marketing cooperative owned by thousands of farmers. The officials of Dean Foods said that consumers should be unaffected as the company is going to run its business as usual in the meantime. The firm has received around $850 million from existing lenders in debtor-in-procession financing to continue its operations. Dean Foods has also lost its major alliance with Walmart, which has started its milk processing in 2017.
The milk-producing company has established some of the most recognized brands in the US such as DairyPure, Friendly’s, and Land O’Lakes. Dean Foods has also been facing huge completion from plant-based diets. The growing demand for almond, soy, oat, flax, coconut, cashew, and other milk alternatives has resulted in a decline in overall consumption of dairy milk in the United States. There has been a significant change in consumers’ tastes, which has made them more conscious about the environment, health, and animal welfare. The dairy industry has suffered a lot due to this sudden shift. Milk consumption per capita has decreased by more than 40 percent since 1975 in the United States.