Cow’s milk is slowly and steadily being replaced by plant-based milk in the United States, according to a report compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Consumption of cow-derived milk has been decreasing since the ’50s and in the last decade, the decline has increased significantly.
To data were directly replacing cow’s milk with plant-based alternatives, is from a market research firm IRI done between 2013 and 2017. That data showed that the weekly average purchases of cow’s milk declined 12 percent from approximately 0.41 gallons per household per week in 2013 to 0.36 gallons per household per week in 2017. In the same period, consumption of plant-based milk products like almond and soy milk increased 36 percent from 0.028 gallons to 0.038 gallons per household per week.
Plant-based milk makes a splash
The ERS notes that cow’s milk is still well based in American households—with approximately 92 percent of households buying it in 2017, some even drink it together with plant-based milk. But, since 2017, plant-based purchases have begun replacing cow’s milk at a 1 to 1 rate. The size of the cow milk market is still far larger than the plant-based milk market and concludes that the sales of plant-based milk alternatives drive the declining sales of cow’s milk.