US Dairy Consumption Reaches All-Time High, Study Shows

American consumers have purchased their favorite dairy products at a record pace in 2021, according to new data from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). Data released last week shows per capita consumption of dairy products rose 12.4 pounds per person from the previous year, continuing a nearly 50-year growth trend that began in 1975 when the USDA has started tracking annual consumption of milk, cheese, butter, and everything else. in the case of dairy products. The average American consumed 667 pounds of dairy products on a milk fat basis in 2021 compared to 539 pounds in 1975 when the data was first established. High-growth products included American-style cheese, up 0.5 pounds, butter, up 0.2 pounds, and yogurt, up 0.7 pounds. Yogurt consumption grew at its fastest rate in a decade, and American-style cheese consumption was the second-highest increase in the past 20 years.

“The growth and evolution of dairy in the United States is one of the greatest success stories in food and beverage today,” said Michael Dykes, DVM, President and CEO. of the International Dairy Foods Association. “Dairy products start with fresh, wholesome milk, and then grow into hundreds of delicious, nutritious products that align with American food and health culture. American consumers are turning to dairy products for health and wellness, nutrition, escape, celebration and more. This love for dairy is especially important now that so many shoppers are watching their spending, emphasizing that dairy remains affordable and nutritious for consumers at all income levels. Record U.S. dairy exports demonstrate that the world is also turning to U.S. dairy products, setting the U.S. on the path to being the world’s leading provider of affordable and sustainable dairy nutrition. It’s all to the credit of US dairy manufacturers who continue to innovate and evolve. »

In the last decade alone: ​​national cheese consumption per capita has increased by 13%; butter consumption per capita increased by 18%; yoghurt consumption per capita increased by 2%. Overall, ERS data shows that US dairy consumption per capita is steadily increasing each year, with a 4% increase in 2021 over the past five years, 9% over the past 15 years. and 19% over the past 30 years.

“Americans and consumers around the world are rediscovering the joys of their favorite dairy products while finding innovative new products that meet specific nutritional and health needs,” Dykes said. “Today’s dairy is different because dairy is changing. The entire American dairy industry should be proud of this growth.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, DC, represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact.

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