Dairy Industry Trends 2024: The Surprising Growth of Cheese, Yogurt, and Butter Consumption

Dairy Industry Trends 2024: The Surprising Growth of Cheese, Yogurt, and Butter Consumption

A latte made with oatmilk. Soymilk in cereal. A glass of protein milk to go with dessert.

What does the future of dairy products look like?

It’s no secret that consumption of dairy has changed in recent years, with many new non-dairy items popping up on the market as alternatives to traditional dairy options. But how are these non-dairy alternatives really affecting the market and what does the future of dairy products look like?

You might be surprised. Despite the popularity of items such as oat milk and soymilk, the dairy industry is rising. In fact, according to Food and Beverage Insider, consumers at 63 more pounds of dairy on average in 2022 than they did in 1975.

To understand how that is possible when there is such an obvious growth in popularity in non-dairy replacements, it is important to understand some dairy market trends as well as a few fun facts.

It takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese. The average American eats 23 pounds of cheese in a year.

While it is true that Americans are drinking less glasses of traditional dairy milk on average, they are still consuming more dairy. How? Because they are consuming more of other dairy products. One of these products is cheese. The average American eats 23 pounds of cheese in a year. From subs to burgers to the rising popularity of charcuterie boards, Americans are increasing their cheese intake by about half a pound per year, according to IDFA. Based on the current dairy industry trends, Americans are consuming 5 more pounds of milk each year just through cheese alone. There are currently over 300 varieties of cheese being sold in the United States. The most popular is still cheddar.

What does this mean for dairy distributors? Don’t forget to stock the cheese because people want to eat it which means end users want to buy it.

Americans eat over 300,000 tons of yogurt per year.

Yogurt is another area of the dairy market that is on the rise. According to the IDFA, yogurt consumption is up by .7 pounds on average. This is the biggest increase in yogurt consumption in the past 20 years and a major dairy industry trend to take note of.

Part of the reason yogurt has seen such an increase in popularity is the growing health-conscious diet many Americans are leaning in towards, as well as the desire for easy, convenient quick but healthy snack options. Yogurt also provides great protein during a time many generations are focused on a high-protein diet. The popularity of sticking to a health-conscious and protein-rich diet is not expected to decrease soon, which is great news for yogurt suppliers, dairy distributors, and the dairy industry.

What does this mean for dairy distributors? Add yogurt to your product catalogs. Part of the popularity of yogurt isn’t just eating it as a snack. It is also being used as a healthier way to make sauces and even a health-conscious sour cream replacement. As consumers continue to look for health options, restaurants and other end users are likely to incorporate more yogurt into their menus, from breakfast parfaits to dips.

It takes 21.8 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter.

According to the IDFA, butter is up by .2 pounds on average. In fact, Forbes released an article earlier this year that says, “Social conversations about Butter have increased by 23.57% over the past year and according to Statista, the revenue from the global butter market is projected to reach $49.91 billion in 2024, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 6.15% (CAGR 2024-2028).” While butter has long been a staple in the food industry, recent dairy industry trends have put butter in a new spotlight. With the foodservice industry diving into trends such as butter boards and even butter coffee, the consumption of butter is on the rise, as is its presence in restaurants, beyond just being served with bread.

What does this mean for dairy distributors? Add butter to your next Honor Foods order! With restaurants relying heavily on butter for flavor and incorporating the butter in a large variety of dishes, it is important for dairy distributors to get butter readily available for end users.

A dairy cow produces an average of 6.3 gallons of milk daily. That is more than 2,300 gallons (about the volume of a storage unit) each year and 350,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.

When looking at trends in the dairy industry, it is important to understand the supply side of the industry as well as the consumer demand. While the industry has faced supply challenges, it is important to know that milk production is increasing. According to the USDA, “milk production is projected to increase by 0.7% in 2024, reaching 228.2 billion pounds. This growth is due to higher output per cow, which is expected to increase by 0.9% in 2024.”

What does this mean for dairy distributors? There is a market for dairy products, and the need for dairy distributors remains high. It is important to stay up to date with the latest dairy industry trends and work with a foodservice redistributor like Honor Foods, which can help keep your supply and diversity of dairy products high.


What is the outlook of the dairy industry based on the current dairy trends?

Despite what you may think, the dairy industry is trending up. While yes milk itself may be consumed less than in the past, other segments of the industry are more than making up for the drop in Americans looking to drink a glass of milk. When thinking about the dairy industry holistically and where the trends are headed, it is important to remember the amount of milk that goes into making products like yogurt, butter, cheese, and cream. This alone accounts for a huge uptick in dairy consumption, and that is before you account for other segments of the dairy market that are on the rise, such as ice cream, a product that requires 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.

What does this mean for dairy distributors? There is a huge opportunity in the market for dairy distributors right now. With popular trends like butter boards and charcuterie boards, restaurants and other end users are looking for suppliers to help fulfill the demand of consumers. That is where Honor Foods comes in. Dairy is what we do. With expertise in all areas of the dairy market, we can help you identify the trends, find the right product mix, and get you the supply of dairy items you need for your customers. The dairy industry is on the rise, and it is a wonderful time to Partner with Honor Foods and be the big cheese of dairy distributors.


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About Honor Foods

Honor Foods, a Burris Logistics Company, was founded in 1949 as a redistributor of center-of-the-plate foods. Since then, Honor Foods has grown into the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier provider of frozen, refrigerated, dry, and dairy products, representing more than 300 brand-name food suppliers and carrying more than 3,000 in-stock items. Honor Foods brands R.W. Zant and Sunny Morning provide additional beef and dairy expertise on the West Coast and in the southeast. In addition, our exclusive house brands — Colony Lane and Valley Fresh, have a well-earned reputation for top quality and value at competitive prices.

Great products and prices are just part of the Honor Foods value-add. We pride ourselves in having a Team of dedicated professionals who manage each partnership. Our commitment to your business needs is what makes us unique.