Decisions taken by some consumers to avoid dairy products pose a real concern from a nutritional perspective, according to the CEO of the National Dairy Council (NDC) Zoe Kavanagh.
Kavanagh was speaking as the NDC prepares to hold a seminar – in association with Dairygold, Ornua and Teagasc – at the beginning of next month.
Entitled ‘Dairy and the Modern Consumer‘, the seminar will be followed by an annual farm walk organised by Teagasc. Both events will be held on the farm of John and Maria Walsh, Ballylomasna, Ballylooby, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, on Wednesday, July 4.
The Walshes were the national winners of the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards in 2017.
Kavanagh explained that the dairy category, in particular, has been a key focus of modern food trends.
“We have been aware for some time that there is a generation of Irish people who are avoiding or limiting dairy in their diet; this is a key concern for us, as the current millennial generation (20-29 years old) will be the future parents and the next generation of older adults.
Dairy avoidance raises a real concern from a nutritional perspective, because cutting out a complete food group poses a risk to overall nutrient intake.
“Our market research has demonstrated a gap in ‘millennial understanding’ around Ireland’s grass-based system – while misconceptions and urban mythsabout dairy’s fat levels, allergies and lactose intolerance are wrongly encouraging millennials to opt for trendy almond milk lattes and gluten-free foods,” Kavanagh said.