U.S. per capita dairy consumption is no longer at a 56-year high. It’s at a 60-year high.
Increases in cheese and butter use last year pushed per-capita U.S. dairy to its most popular year since 1960. (People ate a little more ice cream too, but not thaaattt much more. Nothing to feel guilty about. Really.) Here’s the trend since 1975, when declining consumption stabilized and began to rise.
Yes, fluid-milk consumption dropped a little bit, and that’s always what dairy opponents like to cite when they talk about “decline.” Much of that decline, as we’ve noted, has to do with the rise of bottled water sales, not fake milk. But other dairy products more than offset the small fluid loss, with butter demand at its highest in more than five decades and cheese reaching another record, doubling its per-capita consumption from its levels during (speaking of cheese) the days of disco.
Raise a glass to another milestone year in dairy demand. At Dairy Defined, the work of refuting the “death of dairy” is feeling a little bit easier than a year ago, though doing so remains as satisfying as ever, knowing that sometimes, actual facts still can carry the day. But the work is never done, as new myths inevitably arise. We look forward to dispelling them.