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Everybody can be a dairy princess!

by in Miscellaneous | April 16, 2007

As dairy producers, and Registered breeders more specifically, we sometimes lose touch with promoting the other product we produce, MILK. This week in the All Breeds Blog we will be taking a look at the dairy production promotion resources available to dairy farmers and what our checkoff dollars are up to. There”s more to the story than “Got Milk?”!

If you have a dairy princess in your house, chances are you’ve become familiar with the checkoff program. In many states (maybe all, Im not 100% sure), the dairy princess program is directly funded by your checkoff dollars. This is just one of many programs that increases product promotion and displays a positive image of the dairy industry to consumers. As a former Princess Kay of the Milky Way, Minnesota’s official dairy spokesperson, Im going to put my “crown” back on this week and do a little digging to see what’s new and interesting in the world of product promotion.

A quick search online put me in touch with a number of valuable resources. In fact, if you visit www.dairycheckoff.com you can take a look at each of the entities the program is currently working with:
3-A-Day™ of Dairy
*Quick side note…did you know this program was launched on 3-3-03? That was the year that I was Princess Kay – I did over 20 radio interviews in one day. Talk about a memorable experience! :)
Action for Healthy Kids
Community Relations
Dairy Ingredients
Dairy Innovation
Exports
Foodservice
Issues/Crisis Management
NFL® Partnership
Nutrition Research
School Milk

If you’ve had the chance to sit down and see some TV lately, you may have noticed some new Subway® commercials promoting their new Subway Fresh Fit™ menu. This is visible proof of one of the checkoff goals – increase product demand. Subway® is the latest quick-serve restaurant chain to offer single-serve bottles of milk on their menu. According to Dairy Management Inc., zero restaurant chains served milk in plastic bottles in 2002. In 2004, there were 20,000, in 2006 there were 35,000 and in 2007 over 50,000 restaurants are serving milk in plastic bottles nationwide! That is truly phenomenal growth in a market that didn’t even exist in 2002.

Along these same lines of providing single-serve milk in plastic bottles, did you know that as of 2006 more than 6,000 schools have introduced this product to nearly 3.5 million children? And more than 35,000 quick-service outlets offer the single serve bottles. Combine these two areas with the restaurant chains and millions of pounds of additional milk sales have been generated in a very short amount of time!

Single-serve milk in plastic bottles has no doubt been a great addition to our product line to help sales. Other ideas include production innovation such as:
1. “Value-Added” Fluid Milk – Milk products that contain nutrient and vitamin fortification.
2. Fun, Flavored and Conveniently Packaged Products – Milk and cheese items that cater to the needs and tastes of children and parents.
3. Hispanic Cheeses – Specially formulated products to meet the need of the growing Hispanic population.

Maybe this information I’ve briefly touched on is stuff you already know, maybe some of it is surprising and new. No matter what the case, its important that we all take the time to be aware of the programs working to help increase demand in the dairy products we produce. Sometimes that means taking a break from daydreaming about the summer show season or chatting about the latest hot bull. So, put your “dairy princess crown” on and do your part to spread the positive dairy message we have!

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