British consumers continue their love affair with dairy products despite the constant din from the vegan movement, an AgriBriefing survey of more than 2,000 people can reveal.
Dairy chiefs welcomed the news more than 80 per cent of consumers felt positive or neutral about the category, but acknowledged more needed to be done to connect with younger consumers.
The Attitudes to Dairy survey, commissioned by AgriBriefing and the BBC, found 70 per cent of people had not changed their views on dairy in the last two years, with 8 per cent having a more positive outlook and a further 5 per cent increasing their consumption of products, particularly milk, cream and cheese.
Only 10 per cent of the 2,012 respondents said they had reduced their intake in the last two years and 2 per cent said they had become vegan.
Dairy UK chief executive Judith Bryans said: “These results show that despite much of the noise we hear from anti-dairy detractors, the British public continues to love dairy products.”
NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said it was heartening to discover what people really thought about dairy, adding the snapshot would give producers a welcome boost.
NFU Scotland milk policy manager George Jamieson added: “In the face of what has felt like a constant barrage of misinformation about milk and dairy, we actually have a fantastic platform to build consumption growth on.
“To achieve this, we need to make sure all consumers are aware of the high animal welfare standards met by our farmers while continuing to put milk and dairy produce at the centre of a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet.”
Dr Bryans said Gen Z (those born in 1996-2010) remained ‘heavy’ dairy consumers, but this group was most susceptible to misinformation about dairy products.
Dairy UK was working alongside key industry stakeholders to promote the ‘unique package of nutrients’ dairy provided, including calcium, protein and iodine.
AHDB said its recent ‘Department of Dairy Related Scrumptious Affairs’ campaign was designed to ‘disrupt and emotionally engage’ millennials (those born in 1980-1995) and young parents and had resulted in an 11 per cent drop in those considering a switch to dairy alternatives.