Monday, December 30, 2013

The Demise of the Dairy Farm

I recently heard a story on the local news about dairy farms closing in New Jersey. The story focused on the workers being laid off just before the holidays – something I never like to see. But the analysis from the reporter left much to be desired. His comment was, “With Baby Boomers turning to alternative beverages, this is to be expected.”

And I had one of those (rare) yell at the television moments. Oh gosh, where shall I start? (Warning, there is a rant coming.)

Let’s start here: Are we going to blame every market shift on the baby boomers for the next 20-30 years? Nobody aims products (except for drugs that give the illusion of couples spending all of their time in romantic moments) at this market. Certainly, no one is marketing milk to baby boomers. Market surveys nearly always end with a category of >55, >60, or >65 – essentially lumping Baby Boomers with their parents (and dismissing them). And so, the demise of milk must be because of the Baby Boomers, right? I doubt it.

I have lots of suggestions for why the shift away from drinking milk might be happening:

1. The extreme rise in food allergies, including dairy.

2. More people of all ages choosing to eliminate animal products from their diets.

3. Dozens of options for “milk” – so many that we all can find an alternative to stealing it from the cows.

Three out of four people in my immediate family no longer drink dairy milk (one due to an allergy, two due to choice). What about your family? Do you still buy cow’s milk at the grocery store?


Unknown said...

I buy coconut milk for my daughter who has a dairy allergy. For my other two boys who can have milk, I buy raw milk from a local dairy. As for my husband and me, the only milk products we consume are grass-fed butter and cream, which I buy at Whole Foods. If I were to use a milk in something like a protein drink, I would use unsweetened almond milk. At any time, our fridge is stocked with at least 3 different kinds of milks!

Kathryn @ Mamacado said...

We buy soy and coconut milk. Since my son has a dairy allergy, it's too easy to pour the wrong milk, so we don't have cow's milk in our house anymore.

I'm definitely grateful for the alternative milk selection in our grocery store! the only thing I wish they stocked was small "juice box" sized alternative milks for kids!

Colette said...

Angie, I love your approach.

Kathryn, I have seen the So Delicious Coconut milk in juice box sizes. Perfect for school lunches or travel.

Unknown said...

My son is allergic to dairy, soy and nuts, so we make our own seed milk (hemp and pumpkin) and sometime coconut milk. My other son is not, so I OCASIONALLY buy dairy milk (the smallest size I can find). I'm glad there are alternatives out there. I think people are waking up to what the human body really needs and it's not cow's milk! :)

Colette said...

Zahra, I agree!