WASHINGTON – New data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that US shoppers consumed a record amount of cheese in 2022, with the per capita reaching close to 42 pounds per person, while consumption of all dairy products registered at 653 pounds per person.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) noted that the record amount for cheese consumption compared to averages of 32.2 pounds in 2000 and 21.9 pounds in 1980. IDFA also shared that the latest dairy products consumption numbers were 63 pounds above the historical average, according to data tracked since 1975.

IDFA US total cheese consumption 2022 International Dairy Foods AssociationGraphic: International Dairy Foods Association

In 2021, the average American consumed 667 pounds of dairy on a milkfat basis – an all-time high.

“Americans are turning to dairy like never before as part of their health regimen, to celebrate with family and friends, or to liven up their meal and snacking routines,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA president and chief executive officer. “The data from USDA demonstrate how consumers continue to choose dairy products even as they exercise cost-conscious shopping, illustrating how dairy remains affordable and accessible to all people. Dairy is more than a food or beverage — it has become an essential part of our lives, in more than 95% of US households on any given day. The growth in dairy consumption is a testament to America’s dairy foods makers who offer wholesome, delicious, affordable products for people all ages, all year around.”

Over the course of the past 10 years, IDFA pointed out, domestic per capita consumption of cheese increased by 17.1% and per capita butter consumption grew by 9%.

“If it’s made with dairy and it can fit on a plate, in a bowl or in your favorite mug, chances are Americans are loving it more than ever before,” Dykes said. “Today’s dairy is different because dairy is always evolving to give Americans what they crave.”

IDFA US dairy consumption chart International Dairy Foods AssociationGraphic: International Dairy Foods Association