Younger Europeans consuming more dairy now than 3 years ago, new study finds

UK – A third (34%) of 18-35-year-olds in Europe out of 1,554 consumers (aged between 18-65) surveyed are consuming more dairy than they were three years ago despite the decline in purchasing of dairy products for several years with many turning to dairy alternatives.

According to a survey published by Tate & Lyle PLC, the prevalence at which young consumers eat dairy products is high, with 71% eating cheese, 81% drinking milk, and 69% eating yogurt at least once a week.

Moreover, 77% of 18-35-year-olds reported that they are happy to consider eating more dairy products with less fat, sugar, and allergens.

Delphine Forejt, Dairy Category Development Manager at Tate & Lyle, pointed out that the research established nearly three-quarters of 18-35-year-olds who are eating less dairy are happy to consider eating more dairy products if they could try products with less fat and sugars.

1 in 4 (39%) of 18-35-year-olds state that they feel dairy products contain too much fat and 34% claim that dairy products contain too much sugar.

Younger consumers are much more likely to eat dairy alternatives – with 35% eating non-dairy cheese, 33% eating non-dairy ice cream, and 46% non-dairy milk, at least once a week.

Many consumers of all ages are switching to a flexitarian diet depending on the meal type thus many foods and drink manufacturers have to do more to encourage young people to eat dairy products even more.

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39% said they eat dairy cheese at dinner, compared to 26% who chose a dairy alternative.  32% preferred dairy yogurt at breakfast, while 26% liked a dairy alternative yogurt as a mid-morning snack.

Consumers are also looking to make more rational alternatives- with a fifth (18%) of older consumers saying products with environmental certifications would be a contributing factor in them increasing their dairy intake.

Meanwhile, younger consumers are looking for biodegradable packaging (19%) and longer shelf life (20%).

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Whilst dairy products have long been associated with goodness, in today’s world, the dairy industry must adapt to modern consumer tastes, convenience, and healthier lifestyles, “she added.

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