SIC 5451

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of packaged dairy products to over-the-counter customers. Ice cream and frozen custard stands are classified in SIC 5812: Eating Places , and establishments selling ice cream and similar products from trucks or wagons are classified in SIC 5963: Direct Selling Establishments. Establishments primarily engaged in processing and distributing milk and cream are classified in the various dairy products manufacturing industries.

NAICS Code(s)

454390 (All Other Specialty Food Stores)

Cheese, milk, butter, and other dairy products stores, as well as packaged ice cream stores, are the predominant types of retail establishments found in this group. Like other retail grocery segments, dairy markets underwent a steady downsizing as supermarkets and superstores eroded market share by offering convenience and lower prices. Total annual sales were about $930 million in 2003.

Most stores in this classification were small, private companies with less than ten employees. Of the 5,406 total establishments active in 2003, roughly 1,439 had four or fewer employees, and 877 had between five and nine employees. There were 849 establishments that employed between 10 and 24 people, and 155 that had between 25 and 49 employees. Eighteen establishments employed between 50 to 99 people, while just 11 establishments had more than 100 employees.

SIC 5451 Dairy Product Stores

According to D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions, there were 1,973 dairy products stores with a total of 12,603 employees that contributed some $343 million to the overall sales in 2003. The butter and cheese segment had 358 establishments and 1,957 employees that totaled almost $7 million in sales. Milk contributed about $1 million with 454 employees. The largest specialty market with 3,033 establishments was ice cream, which contributed about $56 million in sales.

The U.S. dairy industry has a long history of consolidation by way of mergers and acquisitions. This trend is expected to continue as larger merchants want to conduct business with "national dairy producers." The "national dairy producers" are better equipped with an efficient means of distribution, as well as the national brands they market.

Leading establishments in this classification included WH Braum Inc., based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Farm Stores Inc. of Miami, Florida, Yogurt Ventures USA Inc. located in Atlanta, Georgia, and Heritage Dairy Stores Inc., headquartered in Thorofare, New Jersey.

Further Reading

D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions, 2003. Available from

Russell, James. "Dairy Industry Consolidation." Refrigerated Transporter, 1 June 2003. Available from .

U.S. Department of Commerce. Monthly Retail Sales and Inventories Report, 2004. Available from .

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