Huge spike in dairy sales during lockdown, figures show

Figures show an overwhelming popularity of dairy, with 94% of households purchasing milk over the last four weeks compared with only 16% buying a vegan alternative
Figures show an overwhelming popularity of dairy, with 94% of households purchasing milk over the last four weeks compared with only 16% buying a vegan alternative

The public turned to dairy during the peak of lockdown as figures show a spike in sales of milk and cheese, with only a minority buying vegan alternatives.

Consumers chose to consume and connect over their favourite dairy based foods to get them through lockdown, new Kantar figures highlight.

Milk Your Moments, a £1m dairy industry marketing campaign to drive consumption of dairy products, helped increase sales.

A huge 2.9 billion cups of tea and 1.7 billion cups of coffee were drunk over the peak lockdown period, increases of 21% and 19% respectively, data shows.



Figures show the overwhelming popularity of milk, with 94% of UK households purchasing milk over the last four weeks compared with only 16% buying a dairy alternative.

Cheese has also seen unprecedented increases in sales, with consumption of cheese increasing 48% during lockdown.



People found themselves making their own sandwiches and lunches as well as in scratch cooking such as homemade pizza, which saw a 235% jump in online conversations.

Home cooking and the craze for banana bread also caused sales of butter to spike in the week of 22 March, with a year on year increase of 69% in weekly sales.

Industry body Dairy UK said consumers turned to the foods they 'know, trust and enjoy' during the lockdown period.

Dairy UK, Dr Judith Bryans said: “We should be incredibly proud how its created positivity for dairy and increased awareness around mental health issues, during such an uncertain time.

"We should also see it at a starting block to future because we need to talk to our consumers on an ongoing basis.”

AHDB said the campaign was 'hugely important' as it backed British dairy producers and consumers during a time of national crisis.

Rebecca Miah, AHDB head of dairy marketing said: "Understanding that dairy has such a crucial part to play in human connection as well as nutrition is a real step change for the dairy industry.



"We should continue to be proud of our importance to society, with these strong growth numbers demonstrating the fact”.

The campaign finished on Friday (31 July) after last week successfully hitting its target of raising £100,000 in support of the UK’s leading mental health charity Mind.

Donations were generated through visits to the Milk Your Moments microsite and by encouraging text donations.