Food company Cargill—the leading animal feed producer in the world—presented its own research on the decline of dairy consumption at the recent Institute of Food Technologists trade show. According to Cargill, global dairy consumption has declined by 22 percent between 2006 and 2016. In Europe alone, sales of dairy products have declined by $3.6 billion between 2012 and 2017. Conversely, Cargill revealed that sales of dairy alternatives have tripled between 2000 and 2016, and that plant-based milk is becoming more popular in the Asia Pacific region. Cargill gathered the data to help its clients (specifically those engaged in animal agriculture) understand the shift in consumer preference away from dairy products. “Our intent was to figure out what’s important to consumers,” Pam Stauffer, Global Marketing Programs Manager at Cargill, told Naturalingredients-USA, “so that our customers can develop the most appropriate products for their markets.” This week, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb took a stance in favor of banning the use of “milk” to label plant-based products on the basis that consumers are confused by labels such as “almond milk,” stating that “an almond doesn’t lactate.” Cargill’s statistics point to a consumer preference for plant-based milk and other foods that do not come from lactating animals.

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