Mad for milk, but national love affair with butter is over
The Irish are the second biggest consumers of milk in the world.
However, when it comes to buttering our bread, we are five times more likely to use a spread or margarine.
Ireland is behind only Finland when it comes to drinking milk, with the nation consuming 169 pints per head last year, according to the latest figures from Euromonitor Inter- national.
We lost our mantle as the biggest milk consumers in recent years after being passed by the dairy-mad Finns. The New Zealanders are in third place.
A decade ago, Ireland was consuming 235 pints per person, but the national milk intake has dropped by just over a quarter since 2006.
The Finns have a love affair with all things dairy, with one of their most distinctive national dishes consisting of blood sausage with lingonberry jam and a glass of milk.
While Ireland is a leading nation in terms of drinking milk, we are number 21 in the world when it comes to butter.
Euromonitor figures show Northern Europe comes out on top, with Sweden, Denmark and Germany ranked as the top butter consumers in the world.
While most of the top 10 butter-eating nations have increased consumption, the Irish have cut back.
The figures reveal Irish people ate just over three-and-a-half pounds of butter per head in 2006, but this had dropped to just under two-and-a-half pounds last year.
While our consumption of butter is low it comes to margarines and spreads.
Irish people indulge in these products five times as much, with more than 12 pounds eaten per head last year.
When it comes to cheese, however, Ireland is only 40th on a list topped by the French.