According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which reports per capita consumption of all dairy products reached 653 pounds per person in 2022, Americans are eating 63 lbs. of dairy above the historical average dating back to 1975 when USDA began tracking per capita dairy consumption.
Cheese consumption set an all-time high in 2022 to reach nearly 42 lbs. per person, a half-a-pound per-person increase over the previous year. For comparison, the average American consumed 32.2 lbs. of cheese in 2000 and 21.9 pounds in 1980. Ice cream consumption in 2022 also edged out the previous year, while other dairy products including yogurt and butter remained consistent with recent year highs.
Americans are turning to dairy as part of their health regimen, to celebrate with family and friends or to liven up their meal and snacking routines. The data from USDA demonstrate how consumers continue to choose dairy products even as they exercise cost-conscious shopping. Dairy is in more than 95% of U.S. households on any given day.
In the past decade alone, domestic per capita consumption of cheese is up 17.1% and per capita butter consumption is up 9%. Overall, USDA data show American dairy per capita consumption across products consistently increasing each year, with 2022 up 0.4% over the past five years, 7.5% over the past 15 years, and 16.1% over the past 30 years.
Overall dairy consumption in 2022 was the second highest total on record.