The younger generation eat more dairy now than 3 years ago

| Filed in:

London, 28 April 2022 – The purchase of dairy products has been on the decline for several years with many turning to dairy alternatives. However, a third (34%) of 18-35-year-olds in Europe are consuming more dairy than they were three years ago.

Adding milk to coffee

Tate & Lyle PLC, a leading global provider of food and beverage ingredients and solutions, commissioned new research amongst consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, to investigate attitudes towards dairy consumption.

The survey found that the frequency in which young consumers eat dairy products is high, with 71% eating cheese, 81% drinking milk and 69% eating yoghurt at least once a week.

Furthermore, 77% of 18-35-year-olds said they are happy to consider eating more dairy products if they could try products with less fat, sugar, and allergens.

Beth Nieman Hacker, Market Research Director at Tate & Lyle, said: “Our research has uncovered some interesting emerging trends when it comes to how and why consumers are purchasing dairy.

“It is so important to understand how behaviours, values and appetites are changing and the drivers behind these shifts, so food and drink brands can launch products that meet the needs of consumers today.”

The research uncovered opportunities for food and drink manufacturers to do more to encourage young people to eat dairy products.

Health is a key priority for the younger generation, with 1 in 4 (39%) 18-35-year-olds stating they felt dairy products contained too much fat and 34% claiming that dairy products contain too much sugar.

Younger consumers are much more likely to eat dairy alternatives – with 35% eating non-dairy cheese, 33% eating non-dairy ice cream and 46% non-dairy milk, at least once a week.

A flexitarian diet seems to be on the rise amongst consumers of all ages, who switch between dairy and dairy alternatives depending on the meal type. 39% said they eat dairy cheese at dinner, compared to 26% who chose a dairy alternative. 32% preferred dairy yoghurt at breakfast, while 26% liked a dairy alternative yoghurt as a mid-morning snack.

Consumers are also looking to make more sustainable choices – with a fifth (18%) of older consumers saying products with environmental certifications would be a big factor in them increasing their dairy intake, while younger consumers were looking for more environmentally friendly packaging (19%) and a longer shelf life (20%).

Delphine Forejt, Dairy Category Development Manager at Tate & Lyle, said: “Our research found that nearly three quarters of 18-35-year-olds who are eating less of dairy are happy to consider eating more dairy products if they could try products with less fat and sugars. Whilst dairy products have long been associated with goodness, in today’s world, the dairy industry must adapt to modern consumer tastes, convenience and healthier lifestyles. At Tate & Lyle we are committed to working with customers to help them overcome these challenges and deliver tasty products that consumers love.”

Visit Tate and Lyle’s website, trends and insights news section., to stay up to date on our latest insights and research. For more information on how Tate & Lyle collaborates with customers working with dairy visit:

Notes to Editors

1,554 consumers (aged between 18-65) were surveyed from 9 August 2021 – 11 August 2021.

The data for this survey was collected using SurveyMonkey Audience consumer panel. Information on how respondents are recruited to SurveyMonkey is available here:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Shelley DeBere
Global External Corporate Comms Manager
[email protected]
07584 540358

Click here for our press image gallery

About Tate & Lyle: 
Supported by our 160-year history of ingredient innovation, we partner with customers to provide consumers with healthier and tastier choices when they eat and drink. We are proud that millions of people around the world consume products containing our ingredients every day.

Through our expertise in sweetening, fortification, and texture, we develop ingredient solutions which reduce sugar, calories, and fat, add fibre and protein, and provide texture and stability in categories including beverages, dairy, bakery, snacks, soups, sauces, and dressings.

We have more than 3,500 employees working in around 57 locations across 39 countries. Science, Solutions, Society is our brand promise and how we will achieve our purpose of Transforming Lives Through the Science of Food. By living our purpose we believe we can successfully grow our business and have a positive impact on society. We live our purpose in three ways, by supporting healthy living, building thriving communities and caring for our planet.

Tate & Lyle is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TATE.L. American Depositary Receipts trade under TATYY. In the year to 31 March 2023, Tate & Lyle revenue from continuing operations totalled £1.75 billion. For more information, please visit or follow Tate & Lyle on LinkedinX (Twitter)Facebook or YouTube