“Since the USDA began tracking per capita dairy consumption in the 1970s, the trend has continued upward for five straight decades, increasing 21% since 1975,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association.
“While Americans have always turned to dairy products as fresh, nutritious staples in their diets, they also value the versatility of dairy in new, delicious, and more accessible products. Thanks to its continued innovation and ingenuity, the dairy industry is poised to continue to grow and deliver nutritious products for Americans.”
In the past decade, domestic per capita consumption of cheese is up 19%; per capita butter consumption is up 24%; per capita yogurt consumption is up 7%. Ice cream per capita consumption also rebounded in 2019, increasing by a half-percent over 2018.
Overall, ERS data show American dairy per capita consumption across products consistently increasing each year, with 2019 up 6% over the past five years, 10% over the past 15 years, and 16% over the past 30 years.
“The product mix in most demand by consumers is changing—we eat more dairy than we drink these days—and dairy on the whole continues to grow,” Dykes said.