Consumption of dairy products in Brazil


Brazil is among the world’s top five consumer markets for milk and dairy products. Though, in recent years, dairy consumption has fallen.

Market surveys and recent data give us clues, pointing to a potential discontinuation or significant reduction in milk consumption by young adults. The real reasons behind this trend, however, are not fully known.

The primary purpose of this survey is to understand the main causes of reduced milk consumption and what can be done to encourage people to resume their consumption. Secondly, we want to understand how reduced milk consumption affects the dairy market in general.

Data collection

With digital market intelligence agency MindMiners, we performed a quantitative market survey with 800 respondents in all Brazilian states, by stratified sampling. The sample was divided in two respondent groups.

The first group included people who discontinued traditional milk consumption, while the second group included people who significantly reduced traditional milk consumption. Our analysis showed that 87.5% of the respondents have good educational background and that 95.3% are between 18 and 40 years old. The questionnaire had 17 questions and used Likert scale.

A sample of the survey’s findings

For consumers who discontinued milk consumption, over 40% said lactose intolerance was somehow relevant to their decision. Additionally, a significant number of those consumers do not like the taste of milk.

Surprisingly, almost half of the respondents do not see any nutritional benefits in milk and 63% still believe milk is not good for them. 45% of these consumers also consider the well-being of cows to be a relevant decision-making factor.

For consumers who significantly reduced milk consumption, besides cheese, other dairy products were introduced into their diets, such as yogurts and lactose-free products like soy, almond and coconut milk. These consumers also regularly eat desserts, ice creams and milk-caramel spreads.

When we look into the main reasons for reduced consumption, 60% of the people said they do not digest traditional milk very well. They also pointed out physician and dietitian recommendations as a relevant factor, in addition to the taste of milk. Curiously, only 37% replaced milk with non-dairy milk options.

Conclusions in brief

While the full report contains significantly more conclusions and information, a few are worth mentioning in this summary.

First, it’s interesting to note that these consumers can be influenced. They said they would resume milk consumption if:

  • They knew animals would not suffer cruelty
  • The taste were better
  • Milk had new nutritional benefits
  • Physicians and dietitians recommended its consumption.

It’s also worth noting that cheese was the main food introduced into the diet as a replacement for milk.

When asked about the factors that could influence them to increase milk consumption, consumers who had decreased consumption said that milk rich in protein or fiber would influence more than 60% of them. Flavored, sugar-free milk would also exert the same influence. And, milk supplied in smaller cartons or bottles would positively affect consumption for 54% of the respondents.

Surprisingly, milk causing less gastric discomfort would increase consumption for 67% of consumers.