In North America, plant-based diets continue to climb as animal products lose popularity – but this doesn’t mean the end of dairy: instead, it demands a shift in the way we approach consumers. Over 65% of North American consumers are looking for what can be called “better-for-me” items. These include products that are better for the environment, animals, farmers or workers.

The three main reasons people are swerving meat and dairy:

  • Animal Cruelty
  • Going Green
  • Health

With the two biggest reasons circling around environmental and ethical concerns, more and more suppliers are seeing a disparity between industry standards and consumer standards. That means farmers and grocers need to step up. Buzz words like grass-fed, free-range and organic aren’t just for the elite: Millenials are changing the way we eat by prioritizing what they put in their bodies, and how it gets there, despite having lower incomes and less money to spend on eating “right.”

According to the Organic Trade Association, 52% of organic consumers are millennials. A staggering 40% of millennials are reportedly taking on a plant-based diet. These numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise: generation x, y, and z are better informed and more educated than their parents. According to a report by Winsight Grocery Business, we’re witnessing “a shift toward a flexitarian diet, or a mostly plant-based diet,” because people are starting to care about where their food comes from. In order to keep consumers interested in dairy products, we need to consider the values of our consumers and cater to those needs. It’s time we see a big shift towards ethical and environmentally sustainable production.