Gen Z shun alcohol and imagine consuming cow’s butter will likely be ‘bizarre’ in a decade

Almost half of Generation Z are ditching booze and a fifth reckon that munching on cow’s butter will be seen as ‘odd’ within the next ten years.

New research into everyday British habits reveals that four in ten adults of all ages predict that the consumption of cow’s milk and butter will have dwindled or ceased entirely in just a decade.

Eating items like butter processed through a cow’s stomach, knocking back alcohol despite knowing it can make us sick, shaking hands as a greeting, and even hitting the hay are among the top 10 rituals we find peculiar upon reflection.

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Gen z
They even think that those who do will be deemed ‘strange’

A fifth (20%) of 18-24 year-olds reckon that most people will view drinking milk, eating cheese and butter as ‘strange’ within the next decade, with 39% attributing this to more people opting for lower calorie alternatives.

Chatting to ourselves, our plants and pets, boogying in front of the mirror and tapping on wood for good luck were among other daily activities that many admit they now see as rather strange.

Flora, the plant-based brand, conducted a survey of 2,000 British adults to examine their everyday behaviours and determine if any could be deemed ‘weird’. When sleep was described as ‘sinking into a state of unconsciousness on foam-filled resting squares’, a third (33%) found sleeping to be the most peculiar activity we engage in!

Man with gadgets
Gen Z are also shunning alcohol in their new tech heavy lifestyle

Two-thirds (66%) of the surveyed adults admitted to drinking alcohol. However, this figure dropped to 55% among Gen Z respondents who disagreed with spending money on beverages that could potentially cause nausea with 15% finding the idea downright bizarre.

Interestingly, only 24% of Gen Z participants consume dairy butter, compared to 40% of all adults. When they were made aware that it originates from grass, passes through a cow’s four-chambered stomach, is broken down into milk and then churned, only 10% could consider it ‘normal’ to eat.

The primary reasons for considering giving up dairy within the next decade included environmental impact (55%), availability of plant-based alternatives (44%), and the strangeness of the production process (15%).

To celebrate these quirky findings, Flora has partnered with I’m a Celeb winner Sam Thompson. Sam, who earned his King of the Jungle title after eating a camel’s penis, has produced ‘Milking It’, a comedic sketch on Instagram exploring our eccentric habits.

Sam expressed: “_Working with Flora has been an udder delight and it’s been a lot of fun thinking about how weird some of our everyday behaviours actually are. Like why we indulge in butter churned straight from a cow’s grassy feast rather than going for the plan-based option? I HAVE NO IDEA. If you feel the same and are up for a laugh about the quirks of our daily routines that we’ve all accepted as normal, head over to my Instagram for my sketch unpacking the lot. Like me, you may want to rethink what you’re spreading on your morning toast.”

The trend of highlighting strange ‘normal’ behaviours has gained momentum online recently, with TikTok users like @undiagnosedadhd9 leading the discussion – he questions why we humans make and watch films to intentionally frighten ourselves (even though we know it’s not real), and asks ‘who decided when you like someone you kiss them?

@shesnotfunnytiktok has also touched on this topic, discussing how peculiar it is that we hang art on our walls – because ‘it’s nice and I want to look at that every day’ – or the fact we lie down on our ‘resting squares’ (aka beds).

Ian Hepburn at Upfield, the company behind the Flora brand, commented: “The findings have really shone a light on the fact that we have so many behaviours and practices that we’ve normalised, but they are, on reflection, just a little bit weird! We wanted to challenge some of those norms – such as the practice of consuming dairy products like cow butter.

“It’s something that no other species on the planet does, yet we’ve completely normalised doing so. We hope it makes people stop and think, and that it prompts positive change when it comes to the consumption of dairy and its resulting impact on the environment.”

Top ten activities we do that are actually a bit bizarre, according to brits:

  1. Sleeping –Sinking into a state of temporary unconsciousness on top of rectangular, foam-filled ‘resting squares’
  2. Rehearsing a conversation in your head that you’ll probably never haveCrafting detailed dialogues internally for scenarios unlikely to occur, a mental practice session for an audience that doesn’t exist
  3. Knocking on woodKnocking on a piece of timberto ward off bad luck or to hope for good fortune
  4. Yawning when you see someone else yawnInvoluntarily opening your mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to boredom or tiredness, even when you’re not sleepy
  5. Drinking alcoholWillingly consume a costly liquid known that has been medically proven to significantly impact your health negatively
  6. Laughing at a joke that you don’t understand, to avoid embarrassmentForcing a laughter without grasping the humour, just to fit in with the group
  7. Taking a break from the internet on your computer to check out the internet on your phoneSwitching screens to escape digital overload, only to plunge into another form of the same digital distraction
  8. Pretending to be busy on your phone in publicScrolling aimlessly on a screen to appear engaged, avoiding the appearance of loneliness
  9. Shaking hands with someoneGrasping another person’s hand and moving it up and down as a traditional gesture of greeting or agreement, despite the germs
  10. Eating butter from a cowAn animal which has eaten plants, which are passed through a four-chambered stomach, breaking down the grass into milk and then made into butter.

To find out more visit: the Milking It Campaign