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JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a milk commercial. Photo: Milk Processor Education Program via AP

The coronavirus pandemic has been such a shot in the arm for Big Dairy that the "Got Milk?" ads are being brought out of retirement.

The big picture: Many Americans fully stocked their fridges in March, with sales of all kinds of milk up big compared to last year.

  • Kids who were no longer having meals at school were drinking milk at home, AP reports. Homebound adults suddenly had time for a leisurely bowl of cereal. Baking and cooking at home soared.

That trend held into the summer.

  • Dairy milk was up 21% year-over-year in March, and up 2% year-over-year in June.
  • Oat milk was up 270% to $132 million in that stretch, and almond milk, coconut milk and rice milk were also up.

Between the lines: This round of "Got Milk?" is expected to be different, AP notes.

  • TV ads feature videos culled from the Internet of people opening a gallon with their toes or jumping into a kiddie pool filled with milk and cereal.
  • In one TikTok spot, Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky swims the length of a pool with a glass of chocolate milk balanced on her head.

The bottom line: The dairy industry is in long-term decline, and that will probably return when Americans eventually go back to offices and schools.

  • Milk sales declined 13% from 2010 to 2018, CNN reported last year.
  • America's dairies are also closing at a rapid rate, with many small dairy farmers exiting the industry under financial duress.

But for now, at least, milk is giving some people a rare sense of normal.

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.