Call it grate! Call it legend-dairy. Say it’s whey up! That’s because Americans are writing a new chapter in their love affair with dairy products, according to fresh data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which reports per capita consumption of all dairy products reached 653 pounds per person in 2022, 63 pounds above the historical average dating back to 1975 when USDA began tracking per capita dairy consumption. Cheese consumption set an all-time high in 2022 to reach nearly 42 pounds per person, a half-a-pound per-person increase over the previous year. For comparison, the average American consumed 32.2 pounds of cheese in 2000 and 21.9 pounds in 1980. Ice cream consumption in 2022 also edged out the previous year, while other dairy products including yogurt and butter remained consistent with recent year highs.
“Americans are turning to dairy like never before as part of their health regimen, to celebrate with family and friends, or to liven up their meal and snacking routines. The data from USDA demonstrate how consumers continue to choose dairy products even as they exercise cost-conscious shopping, illustrating how dairy remains affordable and accessible to all people. Dairy is more than a food or beverage—it has become an essential part of our lives, in more than 95% of U.S. households on any given day. The growth in dairy consumption is a testament to America’s dairy foods makers who offer wholesome, delicious, affordable products for people all ages, all year around.”
By INTERNATIONAL DAIRY FOODS ASSOCIATION
December 4, 2023