Programs from the Midwest Dairy Association are reaching more consumers than ever in the 10-state region with 39 million consumers. Already, the year is off to a running start with dairy products playing a key role in consumers’ resolutions for a healthier version of themselves.
“Our accomplishments and progress towards building trust and demand show the value of our checkoff at work,” said Molly Pelzer, Midwest Dairy CEO. “In 2023, we’ll build on our relationships with new and existing retail partners and continue to increase trust in dairy through nutrition and education.”
Since starting the three-year strategic plan in 2021, Midwest Dairy has worked towards the vision of bringing dairy to life for a better world and the mission of working with others to give consumers an excellent dairy experience. In 2023, Midwest Dairy will expand reach and increase impact of checkoff funds through partnerships, work in schools and industry innovation.
Collaboration is a key focus for all programs and activities to expand dairy’s footprint and consumer trust. Midwest Dairy is maximizing dairy farmers’ checkoff investment impact by working with and through partners to share information and real-time experiences that showcase how dairy products resonate with today’s consumers.
- A new partnership with Godfather’s Pizza Express has received great consumer engagement from the Five Cheese and Sausage Pizza limited time offer. Midwest Dairy is funding the point-of-sale materials used in the three-month-long program.
- Dairy continues to reach younger consumers through well-known social media influencers such as MrBeast, a gaming and YouTube icon, who shares insights and promotes dairy to his millions of followers.
Dairy in schools
Midwest Dairy continues to support dairy in schools based on research and a legacy of leadership in student health and wellness.
- Current work on business case studies will help school administrators grow meal participation with dairy based smoothies, coffee stations and breakfasts. Studies show an opportunity to increase the number of students choosing school meals when paired with a coffee beverage, which encourages students to consume milk who otherwise may not. These dairy-based programs generate excitement both for nutritious milk and the school meal program.
- A high school STEM pilot program gives dairy farmers an opportunity to shape the next generation and share science-based explanations. Students are learning how dairy is part of a healthy lifestyle, the scientific principles behind production decisions and get an inside look at related career opportunities.
Innovation for tomorrow
Midwest Dairy collaborates with processors, farmer-owned cooperatives, and dairy food and beverage manufacturers with the Cooperative and Processor Support (CAPS) program. Through this program, Midwest Dairy provides market research and consumer insights, ongoing communications resources and marketing assistance for new and innovative dairy products.
The farmer’s dairy story is always at the center of what Midwest Dairy does. Undeniably Dairy Grants are available to Midwest Dairy farmers, dairy groups and agricultural organizations to share this story. These grants turn great ideas for promoting the dairy community to consumers into reality. In 2022, grants were used to bring dairy to new places and audiences, host on-farm events and engage with Gen Z consumers. Applications are now open again for the 2023 funding cycle.
A solid foundation from 2022 successes sets Midwest Dairy up to adapt and respond to consumer needs.
“We will continue to build on our dairy promotion work into the new year to assure the dairy farm family’s investment in checkoff is serving them well,” Pelzer said. “We’ll continue to focus on five areas: increasing dairy sales, growing trust, advancing research, creating dairy checkoff advocates, and developing farm and community leaders.”
Follow along with Midwest Dairy to see the checkoff at work. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com.