Dairy data: Canada’s declining per capita milk consumption

Glass of milk.jpgOver the past 20 years in Canada, the per capita consumption of fluid milks has declined, with the exception of chocolate milk.

That’s probably not surprising considering…..

* There are fewer kids today, therefore fewer milk drinkers.

* Milk competes with far more beverage options today than were available 20 years ago.

* In the minds of some kids, drinking milk isn’t that cool. Sadly, sports drinks and soft drinks or pop are often the beverages of choice. (Dairy farmer organizations are working hard to change that thinking with their current ad campaigns – Get a Load of Milk (and the Got Milk? campaign in the US) and the active promotion of the nutritional benefits of milk – Dairy Farmers of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Why Milk?)

* The make-up of the Canadian population today includes more immigrants from countries where milk drinking isn’t part of their traditional foodways.

There are a few dairy products we’re consuming in greater quantities than we did two decades ago. It seems we like our cream – table, half and half, whipping and sour! Although the per capita consumption of these foods is still well below that of fluid milk, it would appear we are increasingly finding ways to enjoy these higher fat dairy options.

It will be interesting to see a comparison of these statistics in another few years.

These are Canadian dairy consumption stats (litres per person) for 2007 (black) and 1987 (red):

2% milk  – 38.03 L / 62.53 L
1% milk – 18.3 L / stats not available until 1990
3.25% milk – 11.97 L / 28.59 L
Skim milk – 8.79 L / 5.26 L
Chocolate milk – 5.67 L / 3.99 L
Table cream (18%) – 3.11 L / 0.43 L
Half & half cream (10%) – 3.03 L / 2.89 L
Sour cream – 1.46 L / 0.80 L
Whipping cream (35%) – 1.21 L / 0.90 L
Buttermilk – 0.45 L / 0.52 L

Source: Statistics Canada and Harrowsmith magazine, February 2009

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