According to the USDA, the consumption of dairy products in the U.S. has risen faster
than the growth of the country’s population. However, the consumption of individual products varies. As most of us are aware, people are drinking less fluid milk, as the competition from other beverages in and out of the dairy case has continued to thrive. In addition, milk is not the childhood staple that it used to be, as parents remain on the fence weighing nutritional value of dairy with other alternative products.
However, while fewer people are pouring a glass of milk, more and more are enjoying the many varieties and options in cheese. While old favorites like mozzarella, American
and cheddar still remain a staple, a vast variety of cheese have become more easily available, adding to the trend of adventurous eating. The popularity of ethnic cuisines that use cheese as a main ingredient is also contributing to the cheese boom. All in all, cheese has become a staple of the American diet.
Butter, once avoided for its fat content, continues to increase in popularity as many now see it as a product made from simple, natural ingredients. In addition, the availability of flavored butters, Amish-made butter and other gourmet butters in the dairy case have furthered the popularity.
Finally, while the USDA reports that per capita consumption of yogurt has decreased, it is still holding its own, particularly Greek yogurt varieties, at levels significantly higher than the early 2000s.