In 1970, everyone drank more than 80 kilos of cow’s milk per year on average. Since then, consumption has almost halved. Plant-based milk alternatives are booming today.

Milk consumption to a minimum: people in Germany are drinking less and less cow’s milk. Consumption has fallen to its lowest level in decades.

In the last 50 years or so, it has almost halved. The per capita consumption of all types of cow’s milk (so-called consumer milk) fell by 2.2 kilograms to an average of 47.8 kilograms in 2021, according to the Federal Information Center for Agriculture. This is the lowest milk consumption since there were all-German statistics (1991).

A possible reason for the downward trend in cow’s milk is the increased consumption of plant-based alternatives, such as oat, soy and almond drinks.

In 1970, annual consumption per capita was more than 80 kilos

A quarter of a century ago (in 1995), the per capita consumption of drinking milk – which includes whole milk, skimmed, partially skimmed and premium milk – was still 62.4 kilograms in Germany. Ten years ago (2012) it was almost 52 kilos.

According to a spokeswoman for the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Nutrition (BLE) in Bonn, an authority based at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in 1970 everyone in the old Federal Republic consumed an average of more than 80 kilograms of drinking milk a year. “We don’t have any data from the former GDR.”