Dairy Giant Dean Foods To Shut Illinois Plant Amid 'Decreased Dairy Consumption'

The company recently acquired a majority stake in plant-based brand Good Karma
Dairy products made by Dean Foods
Dean Foods manufactures dairy-based products (Photo: Dean Foods)

Milk giant Dean Foods is shutting one of its major Illinois facilities this year, with 'decreased dairy consumption trends' among the reasons given for the decision.

The company is best known for manufacturing, marketing, and distributing dairy-based products including milk, cheese, cream, ice-cream, and yogurt.

The closure is one of a number predicted for 2018 as consumer tastes change.

'Decreased consumption'

Dean Foods plans to close a number of facilities this year, according to its 2017 annual investors report, which put the closures down to 'decreased dairy consumption trends and a highly competitive industry'.

The report added: "The challenges faced in 2017 served as a catalyst to drive a sense of urgency around programmatic and structural changes in the second half of the year and into 2018."

Other reports have also speculated that the decision could be linked to Walmart building its own milk production plant in Indiana.

‍Good Karma makes plant-based dairy alternatives (Photo: Good Karma)


The company appears to be diversifying its portfolio by investing in plant-based alternatives to cow's milk. Last year, it acquired a minority stake in plant-based brand Good Karma, which mainly makes drinks and yogurt products from flax.

Recently, it took a majority stake, with Ralph Scozzafava, CEO of Dean Foods, saying: "Good Karma is a fast-growing brand that gets us back into the growing plant-based food and beverage category, making it an excellent addition to our portfolio.

"Our investment in Good Karma is just one example of how we are executing against one of the major pillars of our strategic plan, to build and buy strong brands. As majority owners, we look forward to working with Doug and his team to continue their strong momentum and support their growth agenda."

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Plant Based News delivered to your inbox weekly.
PBN Academy launches with a selection of simple courses on health and wellness, how to rise a child vegan, reversing type-2 diabetes with diet and more. Join free today

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day