Trends in children dairy consumption in the US

Current situation

On the American market, around 7% of fluid milk is being consumed in schools. Due to their closing during the pandemic, the farmers faced an oversupply of milk and children lost their usual access to dairy products. With that in mind, USDA acted to waive some restrictions regarding school meal delivery. Educational facilities will now have the possibility to serve flavored, low-fat milk in nutrition programs for children. Also, more time was given for the adoption of sodium standards, as well as the requirement that half of the weekly grain offerings be whole. The dairy industry enjoyed the allowance of flavored, low-fat milk since many students will surely be attracted to a wider choice of those products. The demand for whole milk is increasing nevertheless and is expected to still raise in the forthcoming years.

New solutions

However, as overall milk purchase for children is decreasing, plant-based alternatives such as soya milk, almond milk, and other organic products gain popularity. With this market trend in mind, Danone launched a new product – yogurt with increased amounts of calcium and vitamin D. The components include almond milk and fava bean protein. The yogurt substitute contains 4 g of protein and 7 g of sugar per 4-oz cup which makes for 25% less sugar per oz than average flavored yogurt alternatives.

Experts point out that calcium and protein amounts in soya and pea milk are equal to those in cow milk. Plant-based substitute products are proving to be a popular alternative for conventional dairy products and are expected to flood the market in the future.