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Prairie Farms saw solid retail volume growth during pandemic year

In an incredibly unpredictable year driven by pandemic challenges, Prairie Farms Dairy closed 2020 with significant volume growth in nearly all dairy categories at grocery stores and other retail outlets. This was partially driven by the sizable change in eating-at-home versus away-from-home habits consumers developed during the pandemic.

Prairie Farms’ product portfolio offered consumers things they needed to make the most of on-and-off-again stay-at-home orders for schools and businesses in 2020. With more breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks being consumed at home, as well as the baking craze, demand for the company’s products surged.

For Prairie Farms’ products in the baking/cooking category, like butter, cream cheese, half & half, and whipping cream, sales increased by 60 percent during the early pandemic months, with a year-over-year gain of nearly 40 percent. In the frozen category, Prairie Farms ice cream and North Star frozen treats saw an average gain of 40 percent in early pandemic months.

“As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, consumers turned to trusted and familiar brands to meet their needs. When pantry stocking began in March, we did our part to keep our retail partners’ dairy cases filled without interruption. In turn, consumers rewarded our brand by stocking up on Prairie Farms’ products,” said Rebecca Leinenbach, vice president of Marketing and Communications for Prairie Farms. “Many behaviors adopted during the pandemic will likely continue in 2021, and we will build on the upward momentum by adding new products to our portfolio.”

Consumer loyalty to the Prairie Farms brand was reflected in a recent IRI report, “Year-End 2020 Trends, 2021 Emerging Growth Pockets,” where Prairie Farms was recognized as one of the fastest-growing medium brands among all generations and income groups. Companies were ranked on dollars per 1,000 household percentage change versus a year ago (food and nonedible consumables) based on the IRI Shopper Loyalty database sample of 65M households and 6M static households. IRI is a provider of big data, predictive analytics, and forward-looking insights.

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