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Abstract

This study analyzes the 1980’s upturn in per capita consumption of dairy products in the United States. It was requested by the National Commission on Dairy Policy for use in preparing its March 1, 1988, report to Congress. This study focuses on identifying and, when possible, quantifying the major determinants of demand for dairy products. Per capita consumption of total dairy products in the United States first trended downward then stagnated for the two decades prior to the early 1980’s. Per capita consumption of items such as whole milk declined while items such as lowfat milk and cheese trended upward. In the 1980’s, per capita consumption of items such as lowfat milk and cheese increased at rates that more than offset decreases in other products, leading to an increase in the overall average consumption of dairy products.

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