DALLAS, TX. (THECOUNT) — Dean Foods, America’s largest milk processor has filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
The bankruptcy comes amid a steep, decades-long drop-off in U.S. milk consumption blamed on soda, juices and, more recently, non-dairy substitutes.
The Dallas company said it may sell itself to the Dairy Farmers of America, a marketing cooperative owned by thousands of farmers, reports WIFR.
“Despite our best efforts to make our business more agile and cost-efficient, we continue to be impacted by a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption,” CEO Eric Berigause said in a statement.
Since 1975, the amount of milk consumed per capita in America has tumbled more than 40%, a slide attributed to a number of reasons but mostly the rise of so many other choices, including teas, sodas, juices and almond and soy milk.
That has hit dairy farms and milk sellers hard, leading some smaller family farmers to quit the business.
Another blow to Dean Foods came when Walmart opened its own milk processing plant in Indiana last year.
Dean Foods has lost money in eight of its last 10 quarters and posted declining sales in seven of the last eight.
The company said it will continue operating normally while it puts its finances in order under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It has lined up about $850 million in financing from lenders.
Despite the bankruptcy news, the company’s stock rose 2.3% in morning trading.
Geo quick facts: Dallas, a modern metropolis in north Texas, is a commercial and cultural hub of the region. Downtown’s Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza commemorates the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. In the Arts District, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Collection of Asian Art cover thousands of years of art. The sleek Nasher Sculpture Center showcases contemporary sculpture – wikipedia.