Bryan-College Station AgriLife Extension economist and professor David Anderson explained that consumer demand for dairy products remains strong with national per capita consumption of all dairy products growing from 538 pounds per person in 2022 to 655 pounds in 2023. However, there is a shift from fluid milk toward cheeses and whey.

Anderson shared that annual milk consumption is down to 130 pounds compared to 164 pounds in 2013. At the same time, the demand for cheese has climbed, with the consumption of American-style cheeses doubling. Whey, once a leftover waste from making cheese, has become a significant ingredient in a range of products.

While these trends are positive for the dairy industry, raw milk prices are still $5 lower per hundredweight than in 2022. Texas dairy producers get paid around $18.50 per hundredweight for raw milk compared to $23 for most of 2022.

Read more on the evolving dairy trends here.