Nov 12, 2019

Largest milk producer in U.S. files for bankruptcy

A milk truck pulls away from the Garelick Farms manufacturing plant in Lynn, Massachusetts. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

America's largest milk producer, Dean Foods, is set to file for bankruptcy, CNN reports.

The big picture: The company has struggled to stay alive as U.S. demand for cow milk has dropped, in part due to a growing preference for non-dairy substitutes such as almond or soy milk. The company's stock fell 80% this year, having lost 7% in sales during the first half of 2019. Profits also plummeted by 14%.

  • The company produces Land O'Lakes milks, Dairy Pure and Organic Valley products.
  • Dean Foods is filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help reorganize its debts, which include workers' pensions.
  • The international market for milk alternatives is expected to surpass $18 billion this year, CNN notes.

What to watch: According to a company statement, Dean Foods is looking to sell and is in talks with the Dairy Farmers of America for a potential deal.

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Dean Foods, America's largest milk producer, is 2019's 100th default

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Dean Foods, the largest dairy company in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy this week, bringing the total number of global corporate defaults this year to 100.

The big picture: Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in the industrialized world, the U.S. has accounted for 70% of companies defaulting or seeking bankruptcy protection in 2019, according to the latest corporate default tally from ratings agency S&P.

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Why Thanksgiving isn't meatless

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Plant-based alternatives to meat have found their way into upscale restaurants and fast-food joints alike, but the trend hasn't really cracked Thanksgiving — one of the biggest meat-eating days of the year.

The big picture: Companies have made big strides in re-creating the taste of burgers and chicken nuggets with plant protein, but there are relatively few vegan options for the Thanksgiving turkey.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019

John Deere expects U.S.-China trade war to hurt its bottom line in 2020

A John Deere cotton stripper. Photo: Ivan Gubsky/TASS via Getty Images

John Deere said in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday that it expects lower earnings in 2020 due to a decline in worldwide equipment sales, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The world's largest farm equipment manufacturer cited ongoing tensions from the U.S.-China trade war as well as harsh weather in the U.S. as factors that have led farmers and construction companies to decide against large new investments.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019