A healthy lifestyle should include more milk, say Irish under-35s

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    Young Irish adults believe that a healthy, modern lifestyle should include drinking milk, according to new research by the National Dairy Council.

    The study recorded a 48% increase in dairy consumption among under 35s during the covid-19-related lockdown. 

    The research compared attitudes from a 2019 study, with the new study showing that young adults now believe that milk provides energy and vitality. The perception of milk as a sustainable product also increased, with more than 50% of those questioned agreeing that it was.

    Nearly one-third of young adults without children said that their consumption of dairy products had increased since the beginning of the covid-19 lockdown. This increase was significantly higher for young adults with children, with almost half (48%) of these respondents saying their milk consumption had increased by nearly 50%.

    Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of the National Dairy Council said, “Our research shows that almost four in 10 (39%) consumers under 35 have increased their consumption of milk, cheese and yoghurt during the covid-19 pandemic. On top of this, almost all consumers (88%) stated that Irish dairy produce is superior to other countries’ produce and (82%) want the Irish dairy sector to be successful and supported into the future”. 

    Kavanagh, said he believed that Irish people were buying more dairy products due to their natural nutritional value, and the quality of locally produced dairy.

    “We know that the Irish are a nation of milk drinkers and dairy aficionados and we’re more than pleased that Irish dairy fans view their locally produced Irish dairy products as the best in the world. What we’re seeing in this new piece of research is a growing awareness of dairy — milk, specifically — as part of a healthy, modern lifestyle”.

    The research also showed an increase in the belief that milk was a sustainable product. Ireland has one of the most efficient production systems in the European Union, with low levels of carbon emissions due to the country’s grass-based and family farming systems. 

    Across the country, farmers are reducing emissions, with almost every dairy farmer in Ireland now being certified under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme in Ireland (Origin Green), for taking steps towards improving sustainability, according to the National Dairy Council.