Abstract #130

# 130
Comparison between non-dairy milk-like beverages and cow’s milk.
Carrie P. Cecil*1, Gustavo Mazon1, Joao H. C. Costa1, 1University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Milk is defined as a secretion produced by the mammary glands of all female mammals after giving birth. However, many non-dairy milk-like beverages are offered to consumers as milk. Sales of fluid dairy milk to consumers have decreased 15% since 2012 and are expected to continue declining in the near future (Mintel Group Ltd., 2017). One of the many reasons for the decline in fluid dairy milk consumption is that consumers are now switching to non-dairy milk-like beverages, such as almond, soy, and cashew. From 2012 to 2016, non-dairy milk-like beverages sales increased by 53%. An online survey done with 2000 internet users over the age of 18 showed more than half purchased non-dairy milk-like beverages during the 3 mo before the survey (Mintel Group Ltd., 2017). When exploring consumer’s views and attitudes concerning non-dairy milk-like beverages, a study found a very diverse opinion. Consumers’ acceptance of non-dairy milk-like beverages depended on many factors, specifically taste and consistency (Kempen et al., 2017). One of the arguments often used to explain the changes in population consumption patterns is that alternative beverages are a healthier option when compared with dairy products. However, cow’s milk is very nutritious, containing naturally occurring and easily absorbable macro and micronutrients. Heaney et al. (2000) concluded that calcium from calcium-fortified soy beverages was absorbed only at 75% the efficiency when compared with milk. Another study found a negative relationship between non-dairy milk-like beverages consumption and childhood height when compared with children who drank milk. (Morency et al., 2017). Children were 0.4 cm shorter for every daily cup of non-dairy milk-like beverage consumed. Milk is an excellent source of nutrients and has many benefits. The dairy industry should support the understanding of milk’s nutritional content, consumers’ perceptions, and should investigate how beneficial dairy products truly are to a healthy diet.

Key Words: alternative milk, soy milk, almond milk