Dairy study: Consumers think plant-based milks nutritionally equivalent
Citing data that shows consumers believe plant-based milk products are nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern this week called on the Food and Drug Administration to end what he called “deceptive labeling of fake dairy products.”
In a survey by IPSOS, commissioned by Dairy Management Inc.:
▪ 73 percent of consumers believed that almond-based drinks had as much or more protein per serving than milk. Milk has eight times as much protein, NMPF said.
▪ 53 percent said they believed that plant-based food manufacturers labeled their products “milk” because their nutritional value is similar. That is not the case, NMPF said.
▪ Of buyers of plant-based milk beverages, 68 percent strongly or somewhat agreed those drinks have the same nutritional content as dairy milk. In reality, those beverages do not, NMPF said.
“The plant-based food and beverage industry has used FDA inaction as a cover to sell consumers a product that is heavily processed to look like real milk, but doesn’t deliver what matters most: a consistent, high-quality package of nutrients,” Mulhern said in remarks at NMPF’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.
“This is contrary to the national goal of a healthy population and FDA’s mission to promote transparency and fairness,” he said.
“The consumer research will be shared with FDA as the agency solicits information on the public health implications of mislabeled, imitation dairy products. FDA needs to immediately end the application of the term ‘milk’ to non-dairy products,” Mulhern said.
An NMPF spokesperson said the full study is not being released at this time.