“Milk” Product Labeling in the U.S.

Most Americans believe that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration should restrict plant-based beverage companies from using the word “milk” on product labels.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Emily Chen Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, January 9, 2019 – A recent poll conducted on behalf of the National Milk Producers Federation shows that half of all Americans (49%) believe that non-dairy brands should not be allowed to use the term “milk” on their product labels because they are often less nutritious than dairy milk. However, half of Americans also believe that allowing companies to use the word “milk” on non-dairy beverages, despite a policy which restricts imitation dairy foods derived from plants from being labeled as a type of milk, has no effect on their confidence in food labeling (47%). A little less than half said it made them less confident in U.S. food labeling, while a small minority said it made them more confident. When informed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently defines “milk” as the product of an animal, but doesn’t enforce the labeling rule, most respondents said that they believe the FDA should restrict non-dairy beverage companies from using the term “milk” (61%). A much smaller number believe that the FDA should not restrict non-dairy beverage companies (23%).

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted January 4-7, 2019 on behalf of the National Milk Producers Federation. For the survey,
a sample of 1,005 adults 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and
Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview”
sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each
study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be
representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population
targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on
demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error,
including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of
rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of
plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation
of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following
(n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our
Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or
contact us.

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Emily Chen Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs

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