Demand for whey only expected to grow

A new report by CoBank explores how global food consumption changes brought on by the pandemic will support added demand for whey products.

Ag economist Tanner Ehmke with CoBank tells Brownfield the adoption of healthier habits by consumers to help combat COVID-19 are now entering their second year and more likely to become a long-lasting lifestyle shift.

“The global consumer has fundamentally altered how they’ve chosen to eat and there’s been a renewed focus on health products and functional foods like whey protein,” he says.

He says the global consumer is also aging and wants to do so in a healthy manner which means, “A very bullish, hopeful, and optimistic view for the dairy industry specifically in regard to human consumption of high protein whey,” he projects.

Considering announced plans for cheese and whey processing expansions, Ehmke says over the next five-years production is expected to increase by at least 10 percent to meet growing demand.

“And I think that’s going to be driving a lot of expansions for dairies into places like Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and South Dakota—and even into Wisconsin or Michigan,” he says.

Until that processing comes online, Ehmke says whey prices are expected to persist at historically strong levels.

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