The Hustle

Gen Z just doesn’t like milk, OK?


Remember that carton of milk you had to drink at school lunch every day lest your bones crumble to dust? Well, Gen Z ain’t into it.

A generation not subjected to the once-ubiquitous Got Milk? campaign, Gen Z is more into the growing list of milk alternatives or beverages that contain no milk at all, per The New York Times.

They bought 20% less milk than the national average in 2022, though they do consume yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products.

What’s wrong with milk?

Well, ~30-50m Americans are lactose intolerant, and the likelihood increases among those of African, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian descent. Gen Z is more diverse than previous generations. Plus:

There’s also “milk shame,” which refers to the stigma that it’s weird for adults to enjoy plain milk.

In media, villains love milk, from A Clockwork Orange, to “The Boys” and Get Out. The latter’s director, Jordan Peele, said, “There’s something kind of horrific about milk.”

Could milk be the new Gatorade?

Some studies suggest chocolate milk’s composition promotes post-workout muscle recovery, leading campaigns to position it as a sports drink.

But if the idea of crushing a creamy pint after a run curdles your stomach, the NYT didn’t quite buy it either, instead positing that milk — like many things — may come back around without splashy campaigns, thanks to its wholesome simplicity.

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