GLOBAL- Consumers, particularly those in the 18 to 21 age bracket, are considering non-dairy diets due to influence from social media, a new study by Danish multinational dairy cooperative, Arla has revealed.

The study on how social media and ‘cancel culture’ shape attitudes to dairy found that almost half of shoppers in the UK, 49%, were willing to make ‘big changes ‘to their diets based on what they read on social media.

The study further revealed that 34% of these consumers admitted to making choices about their diet based ‘purely’ on information they see on social networks, the study further reveals.

One Poll study cited in the study found that 75% of participants are concerned about the future of the world and 12% consider the ‘environmental impact of food alone ‘to making purchase decisions.

Additionally, two in five of the participants claim they are unsure of what makes a ‘sustainable diet’ and social media plays a bigger role in their decision making.

Arla found that dairy faces a court of public opinion instead of relying on facts about the food production process, considering what makes a sustainable diet and what foods are good.

Largely,’ snap decisions are being made with 18% of people saying they rely on social media as a legitimate source of information, with 15% reporting that they consume news through memes.

Meanwhile, 36% of respondents admitted to amplifying messages they read on social media and considering them as their own opinions. 

Generation Z (born from the late 1990s to the 2010s) is especially taking on this dynamic, with 55% of this cohort saying they use social media to inform dietary decisions.

Of this group,70% admitted to preferring continuing to drink dairy while 57% plan to give it up in the next year.

More than half of Gen Z-ers (49%) feel ashamed to buy dairy in front of their associates compared to 8% of people across all age groups. This bashful behavior has resulted in 29% ordering dairy alternatives in public and reverting to dairy at home.

Arla has advanced to say people should not cancel dairy because there is not much consensus about what makes food sustainable since 54% of people associate sustainable diets with locally sourced food, and 35% claim it means choosing nutrition that has been produced ‘with the least environmental impact’.

Arla has noted that the next decade will be a defining one in the health of the planet and in the availability of affordable quality nutrition.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE