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U.S. Fluid Milk Consumption – The Glass is Half Empty

Declining Consumption of Fluid Milk Poses Challenges

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Since the tracking of fluid milk consumption began, the rate of decline has been staggering. Children born in the 1950s drank plenty of milk – usually whole milk or milk with high-fat content. But as generations moved forward and fluid milk gradually reduced in fat content – which led to reduction in flavour and taste, the public has been drinking less and less of it ever since.

Today, children in the U.S. drink less milk than their parents did; and significantly less than their grandparents did in their day. So what’s behind the decline?

Many would argue that the reduction in fat content over the years has had a major influence on milk drinkers. Fats in fluid milk are what provide the flavour and texture of milk; something that skim milk has little of, making the taste and texture much lighter than even 2% milk. Others would argue that the introduction of alternative types of milk, such as soy, almond and coconut milk have cut into the fluid milk market. Still, others suggest that increased awareness of hormone and antibiotic use in dairy cattle has had a major impact on the public’s perception of the health benefits of milk today.

While long-term studies are good at indicating the decline in fluid milk consumption, they are at best speculative as to the causes.

What are your thoughts on the decline of fluid milk consumption? Share them with us here on dairy chat.

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