The USDA’s annual report on per-capita dairy consumption saw an emphatic rise in domestic dairy demand. The level of demand rose from 655 pounds per person in 2020 to 667 pounds per person last year.
That’s a total not seen since 1960, when it was 659 pounds, and is approaching 1959’s consumer total of 672 pounds. The last time America consumed this much dairy as they do today, Elvis was in the Army.
While USDA data says fluid milk consumption has continued a slow decline, cheese continues to rise. American-style cheese consumption reached another record last year. Butter consumption is returning to levels unseen for several decades.
Even as dairy consumption shifts, the overall trajectory is positive. The gain in 2021 is the seventh in the past eight years.
The National Milk Producers Federation says despite more competition from non-dairy competitors, consumers continue to find dairy useful, preferable, and important.