Cottage cheese has a moment in dairy, prepared items heat up deli category, Circana data shows

“Purchases [in 2021 and 2022] were happening much further out from the holiday… It had to do with a lot of the out-of-stocks that we were dealing with in ‘21 and ‘22, which pushed some of the more crucial items for these types of holidays to earlier weeks. What we saw in ‘23, whether I look at Halloween or I look at Thanksgiving, a lot of the purchases are now taking place again during the week of the holiday.” 

Cottage cheese has a moment, as the dairy category shakes off egg prices

This year, egg prices have driven up dollar growth within the dairy category for the year, and Thanksgiving shopping propelled units slightly higher in November, Roerink said. 

Dairy sales totaled $72.4bn, growing 5.3% in dollars and declining 1.4% in units, according to Circana MULO data for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 26, 2023. In November, dairy sales came in at $6bn, declining 5.1% in dollars and growing by 0.1% in units, as egg prices began to stabilize.  

“Dairy is the one Market Trends where we had all that egg inflation sitting and are still really affecting that 52-week look. That’s why those prices are still up. But if you just look at November or the third quarter, for instance, that’s really when those egg prices were starting to stabilize, and it’s really that deflation in the category that is determining a lot of the dollar performance right now for dairy with eggs being one of those big, big sellers.” 

Desserts, dairy-alternative cheeses, and processed cheese saw the steepest drop in units, declining 10.5%, 7.8%, and 3.6%, respectively, for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 26, 2023. Similarly, in November, desserts and dairy alternative cheese were among the sharpest declines (9.5% and 8.6%, respectively), while cheese snacks dropped 10.8%.