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Decreasing milk consumption likely a continuing trend

Americans are drinking less and less milk, and consumption will continue to decline.

Americans are drinking less and less milk — a trend that has been noted since the 1970s and has been the consequence of decreased milk drinking occasions rather than decreased portions, according to a new study by the U.S. Economic Research Service (ERS).

Based on data from the mid-1970s and 2008, Americans are drinking less milk now with their lunch and dinner meals than in the 1970s, which has reduced the number of milk drinking occasions, ERS said.

Furthermore, more recent generations have shown a greater reduction in milk drinking frequency, ERS said, reporting that Americans born in the 1990s consume milk less often than those born in the 1970s, who, in turn, consume less milk than those born in the 1950s.

It's likely that each successive generation will have fewer milk drinking occasions and will consume less milk than their parents, and milk consumption in the U.S. will continue to decline, according to the study.

Editor's Note: A complete report on the ERS study will be published in the July 1 issue of Feedstuffs and posted at www.Feedstuffs.com. It should be noted that ERS said dairy industry promotions and government-supported school meals are positive to milk consumption, but "cohort effects" are strong offsets.

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