Next year, Borden Dairy—one of the oldest dairy companies in the United States, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January—plans to attach cookies to its milk cartons in an effort to attract new customers. “People love cookies in milk,” Borden Dairy CEO Tony Sarsam said. “It will be a size that you can actually eat in the car. Put it in the cup holder … and you can dip the cookie.” Borden is the second major dairy company to file for bankruptcy following Dean Foods’—the largest dairy milk producer in the US—chapter 11 filing in November 2019. The cookie marketing campaign is the dairy industry’s latest attempt to stay relevant. While dairy consumption has been in a steady decline for more than 20 years (losing $1.1 billion in sales in 2018), plant-based milk now accounts for 14 percent of the entire milk category with oat milk sales growing by 686 percent last year alone. Last month, dairy lobby group the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) co-opted the cannabis culture to appeal to millennials by opening the “California Dairy Dispensary” in Venice, CA where it sold cheese “edibles” and hand-rolled ice cream (made to resemble joints) while more than 40,000 Americans are still in jail for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes.
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