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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Stewart's Shops has stopped buying milk from its largest supplier, Barber Brothers Dairy of Northumberland, as demand for milk decreases.
"We certainly had a difficult decision based on what we're seeing in the market right now," Maria D'Amelia, Stewart's spokesperson, told The Saratogian. "Demand for milk is down. People are choosing other alternatives like almond milk, and there's less milk consumption because people don't eat meals at home as much as they used to."
Milk represents about 8 percent of the more than $1 billion in annual gross sales generated by Stewart's Shops' 332 convenience stores. However, milk sales at the chain fell 2 percent from 2013 to 2014, a trend that continued during the first quarter of this year, the newspaper reported.
As milk purchases have dipped, bottled beverage sales have increased, the retailer noted. "This is another piece of the trend of more people eating on the go, rather than sitting down at home," D'Amelia said. "They're buying what's easy for their busy lifestyles."
Saratoga Springs-based Stewart's Shops operates c-stores in upstate New York and southern Vermont.