Data shows that consumers are being misled about the nutritional merits of cow’s milk vs. plant-based imitators, according to a study released by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), Arlington, Va.

The survey, conducted by IPSOS, France, and commissioned by Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont, Ill., shows that:

  • 73% of consumers believed that almond-based drinks had as much or more protein per serving than milk. Milk has eight times as much protein.
  • 53% said they believed that plant-based food manufacturers labeled their products “milk” because their nutritional value is similar. That is not the case.
  • Misinformation was more prevalent among those who only bought plant-based drinks. Of those buyers, 68% strongly or somewhat agreed those drinks have the same nutritional content as dairy milk. In reality, those beverages do not.

“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,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO. “This is contrary to the national goal of a healthy population and FDA’s mission to promote transparency and fairness.”