Massive Numbers Of Young Adults Are Turning Away From Dairy

A recent survey has shown that environmental concerns are a driving factor for many of the 18-24-year-olds who have cut down on or completely ditched dairy
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Young people are turning away from milk (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

More than 25 percent of young adults have either ditched dairy or reduced their consumption over the last two years, according to a ComRes survey commissioned by the BBC.

The survey results were released just before Februdairy - the dairy industry's campaign to try and counter the positive vegan messaging of Veganuary.

The data shows that older people are less likely to make the switch to plant milk - with 12 percent of 25-34-year-olds reducing their intake, and 10 percent of 45-54-year-olds.

Environmental impact

The BBC interviewed Bekki Ramsay, 23, from Newcastle, as part of a short segment on why younger people are ditching dairy. She cited health and environmental concerns.

"I feel like my generation is a lot more open to trying," she said. "I know that buying alternative milk is better for the world, but it's more a health choice for me. It's kind of impossible to escape from what's going on in this world and how what we do every day has an impact on the environment."

Rise of vegan milk

The global vegan milk sector - which has seen huge growth in recent years - is expected to exceed USD 34 Billion by 2024, according to a market research report.

According to the report, there are a number of reasons consumers are opting for plant-based, including increased focus on the the 'healthy diet and nutritional values offered by non-dairy product such as low calories and high proteins and vitamins'.

It lists soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk and hemp milk as key alternatives to dairy, and divides these into four sectors, saying: "On the basis of source, the market for dairy alternatives (plant-based milk) has segments: soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and others. 

"Out of all the four segments Soy Milk has highest market share globally."

This growth is the continuation of a trend which has seen plant milk sales grow by 61 percent in the US over the last five years.