Consumers Increasingly Answering ‘no’ to the Dairy Industry’s Question, “Got Milk?”

Conventional fluid milk sales have fallen since the 1970s and the industry is more price sensitive and competitive than ever. Today’s consumers eat less cereal and are shifting towards plant-based milk alternatives made from soybeans and almonds. This has forced giants such as Kellogg’s and General Mills to make large acquisitions to diversify their product portfolios. Last October, the Special K maker snatched protein bar maker RXBAR for $600 million and General Mills is buying high-end pet food maker Blue Buffalo for $8 billion.

Exacerbating the situation further for dairy producers is the global milk surplus, consumers’ appetite for sustainable, better-for-you (BFY) food and falling milk prices at grocery leaders Kroger and Walmart. The latter is even opening a milk plant in Indiana later this year to supply store-branded milk to about 15% of their stores.

Prepping for the future is expensive but growth in dairy alternatives is too big to ignore. By 2021, it’s estimated that plant-based dairy alternatives will comprise 40% of the entire $28 billion dairy and daily alternative beverage market. This is up from 25% in 2016, when daily alternatives accounted for just $6 billion retail sales, Convenience Store News reports.

It’s clear why dairy companies globally are overhauling their businesses and taking similar steps as the cereal giants diversify their product portfolios.

After years of acquisitions, milk marketing co-op Dairy Farmers of America recently added probiotic milk and frappuccinos to their lineup. Then, a few months ago, Cumberland Dairy, a family-owned producer of ultra-pasteurized food and beverage, was purchased to expand DFA’s presence in extended shelf-life processing.

Next, Organic Valley, the U.S.’s largest farmer-owned organic co-op, has spent the past few years expanding the Grassmilk line of organic grass-fed milk, yogurt and cheese, along with the Organic Fuel and Organic Balance read-to-drink (RTD) products.

Lastly, Dean Foods, the biggest domestic producer and distributor of dairy products in the U.S., is pushing premium milk brands TruMoo and DairyPure and pivoting aggressively into new food and beverage categories, including ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese and juice.

How are dairy companies funding this monumental shift?

Traditionally, pivoting companies will sell part or all of an underperforming business unit, as Glanbia plc did last year with their dairy business. Other options include raising capital by selling equity, taking on debt and/or reducing costs.

For example, Dean is streamlining operations and cost structure, with the goal of generating $150 million in annualized savings by 2020. The big, one-time investment will impact near-term free cash flow performance, but will create a runway for increased productivity in 2019 and beyond, CEO Ralph Scozzafava shared during the dairy giant’s fourth quarter earnings call.

Competitors should consider taking a similar approach for driving growth, but these cost reduction initiatives should not be the end. Are they even enough?

Dean’s recent deals for organic juice company Uncle Matt’s Organic and Good Karma Foods, a producer of flaxseed-based, dairy alternative food and beverage products, haven’t made much of an impact yet. A bigger acquisition may be in order.

Further, these strategies rarely boost the confidence of suppliers, many of whom are already battling economic turbulence and feeling the pinch.

A much less expensive and innovative way to generate working capital is supply chain finance (SCF). Through an SCF program, dairy companies can free millions of dollars stranded in the supply chain to achieve liquidity goals, while creating more stability for suppliers of all sizes.

These companies would extend payment terms with suppliers, improving cash flow predictability and control for both parties. For instance, going back to Dean, their multi-year plan also includes taking the next 18-24 months to rescale the supply chain, a process that likely will put even more pressure on suppliers in the interim.

Through an SCF program, dairy companies decelerate cash outflow and suppliers can control timing of payment, including receiving early payment in return for a small finance fee. Both sides benefit during these turbulent times as dairy companies add new product categories.

The dairy industry is far from spoiling. There’s tremendous opportunity to expand into thriving product categories like cottage cheese, coffee creamer and grass-fed and organic milk and cheese options. SCF is the ideal strategy for unlocking the money required to fund this enormous shift.

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Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.