Milk consumption down, yogurt up

RED DEER — Canadians are drinking far less milk, but yogurt is gaining in popularity.

“Yogurt is the one product that is having this absolutely massive year over year increase in sales, particularly from about 1997,” said food market researcher Ellen Goddard of the University of Alberta.

Working with graduate student Shannon Allen, a national online survey assessed consumer attitudes toward milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.

Goddard said there has been a precipitous decline in fluid milk sales, especially for the two percent variety. The increased popularity of one percent milk did not make up for the overall downward trend. In 1980, each Canadian consumed 98 litres of milk but by 2011 that amount fell to 71 litres.

People who said they were light users of milk often countered by saying said they ate more yogurt, she told the western dairy seminar in Red Deer March 6.

People also think of yogurt as a completely different product because it comes in many flavours and forms like drinks, frozen products or as a dessert.

When asked why they did not drink milk, many said they did not like it, thought it was too expensive and worried about fat content, shelf life and the possibility of added hormones or presence of antibiotics.

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