Last month, the Wall Street Journal reports that Whitewave, once a spin-off of dairy company Dean Foods, is now outperforming it's parent by leaps and bounds. The reason?
WhiteWave's profit and sales are climbing as U.S. consumers embrace plant-based milks. Dean has churned out losses on falling domestic demand and higher costs for raw milk. Today, WhiteWave's revenues are just a third of Dean's, but its market value is more than three times its former parent.
"It is going to be tough to buck the trend of declining consumption of [cow] milk in the U.S.," says Ryan Oksenhendler, an analyst with Arlon Group LLC, a New York-based fund manager that owns WhiteWave shares. He says shoppers quitting cow milk and embracing soy, almond and coconut milks are feeding WhiteWave's gains.
In other words, folks are catching on. According to a recent USDA report, milk consumption is down in all age groups, to the tune of 40% less than 1970 consumption levels.
Dean has closed 10% of it's plants last year and is closing another nearly 4% this year.