Milk Consumption Declined During the 2010s

U.S. per capita consumption of fluid cow’s milk has been trending downward since about the mid-1940s, and it fell at a faster rate during the 2010s than in each of the previous six decades. Using dietary intake surveys collected between 2003 and 2018, USDA’s Economic Research Service examined recent trends in milk consumption by looking at how individuals consumed the milk and consumers’ ages. Results confirmed that drinking milk as a beverage is the primary way individuals of all ages consume fluid cow’s milk. These beverages include plain and flavored fluid milk and other milk-based beverages. On a given day in 2003–04, U.S. consumers drank about 0.57 cup-equivalents of fluid cow’s milk on average. Consumption declined over the 2010s, falling to 0.33 cup-equivalents in 2017–18. Over the study period, U.S. per person consumption of milk with cereal also fell by 0.06 cup-equivalents, with the steepest drop in consumption occurring among children.

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