The group announced that it will begin using reduced fat milk - or two per cent milk - as standard in all espresso-based beverages throughout its New York stores this week, with a further national roll out planned by the end of the year. Though the move will initially be rolled out at its US outlets, the group said it was reviewing its practices throughout its global outlets and that it "anticipated" it would adopt the practice in markets where there was demand. Starbucks' move comes as the food and drink industry faces increasing pressure to address concerns in industralised countries about growing obesity rates. The Starbucks move is just one move among many that is changing the product mix manufacturers are being asked to supply. Though Starbucks will continue to offer milk alternatives, the switch to lower fat products is a result of a wider industry focus on health, said Denny Marie Post, the company's vice president of global food and beverages. "The move to reduced fat milk as our core dairy offering comes directly from our customers' requests, and while they will still have the option to customise their drinks, our standard beverages will now come with fewer calories and less fat," she stated. The strategy could prove prudent, particularly in Western European markets like the UK, which has undergone a boon in sales for lower fat products. UK consumption of whole milk has dropped 75 per cent in 20 years to roughly 50mls per person per week. Consumption of semi-skimmed milk is double that and skimmed milk is even higher, up at 150mls, according to Milk Development Council (MDC) figures.