Why Consumers are Choosing Grass-Fed
In the U.S., grass-fed meat is driving growth in grass-fed proteins. Retail sales rose 21 percent from 2017 to 2018, and another 16 percent from 2018 to 2019.1 Grass-fed is connecting with consumers on several levels. Top grass-fed benefits attracting consumers include taste and health, as well as animal welfare. Grass-fed also addresses consumers’ growing demand for premium products and for food choices that reflect their values.
Grass-fed claims provide transparency—more important than ever as consumers seek to learn more about how their food is produced. Consumers choosing grass-fed products intuitively understand that grass is the natural diet for these animals and see grass-fed as a higher quality option to conventional versions.
As more consumers learn about grass-fed benefits, manufacturers can seize this opportunity to elevate their products by incorporating grass-fed ingredients. Though grass-fed meat has the spotlight, grass-fed dairy is next in line.
Truly Grass Fed: Meeting the Standards
When it comes to grass-fed milk, the term “grass-fed” can mean different things to different producers. For example, there can be big variations in the proportion of grass in the cow’s diet. To promote standardization and transparency for consumers, the Truly Grass Fed program was developed. In order to qualify as Truly Grass Fed milk, several requirements must be met:
- Cows must receive 95 percent of their nutritional feed from grass
- No rBST (growth hormone) can be used
- The milk must be Non-GMO Project Verified
Cows are grazed on grasslands for up to 300 days a year and housed for the remainder for animal welfare purposes. During the housing period, the cows continue on a diet of grass silage with some limited supplementation. Only products that contain milk or a milk-derived ingredient that meets these standards can make a Truly Grass Fed claim and use the seal.