The milk minute: Dairy protein becoming a global nutritional staple


No matter where in the world, milk is either part of, or fast becoming part of people’s daily lives, and the 14th annual World Milk Day on June 1 will be a chance to raise a glass and celebrate its goodness.

In the minute it might take to consume a glass of milk, much will have happened in the world of dairy:

• 1.3 million litres of milk will be consumed
• Equivalent to 5,263,759 glasses (250 ml) of milk being drunk every 60 seconds
• 1,353 tonnes of cow and buffalo milk will be produced

Fonterra Director Global Brands and Nutrition, Jacqueline Chow, says dairy has experienced something of resurgence in the past decade as increasingly sophisticated consumers look to naturally functional and whole foods for their nutritional needs.

“The benefits of milk are well known. Regular servings of dairy nutrition helps maintain healthy bones, ensures children get the right amount of many essential vitamins and minerals they need for growth and is a good source of high quality protein – which our bodies need to build muscle, repair tissue and fight infection,” she says.

As one of the best sources of calcium, a single glass of milk contains around a quarter of an adult’s daily calcium needs – equivalent to as much as four cups of broccoli and 16 cups of spinach.

Chow says the rise in consumption is underpinned by a number of global trends including a burgeoning middle class in emerging economies, aging populations, a move towards natural, high protein food sources and scientific innovation in dairy.

“Milk’s recognition as a natural, trusted and affordable source of protein and calcium is an important driver of its popularity in new markets. Scientific advances in dairy nutrition and manufacturing have also allowed increasingly larger amounts of protein to be packed into low-volume drinks, yoghurts and other foods, and this has seen dairy become a convenient food choice for all life stages,” she says.

Chow says demand for milk shows no sign of abating either with the world expected to require another 100 billion litres by 2020.

“China’s an obvious source of this demand, but it is happening across the globe, particularly in developing nations that do not have a local supply to meet the dairy demands of their own populations.”

World Milk Day, run by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, occurs on June 1 and sees companies, co-operatives, governments and organisations undertaking activities to drive awareness in the nutritional benefits of milk.

As part of this year’s World Milk Day Fonterra is asking its social media followers to share their opinion about what milk means to them on and @Fonterra #worldmilkday #fonterra

*Figures are based on the latest data available at the time of publishing.