A Breakfast Case Study: Hispanic Grocers Get Milk Campaign

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A Breakfast Case Study: Hispanic Grocers Get Milk Campaign


The “got milk?” campaign is one of the most widely recognized marketing promotions in the country; however, it was missing its mark when it came to the Hispanic community.

The campaign is the work of MilkPEP, a milk processor education program. And though consumers can’t open a magazine without seeing an ad for the promotion, MilkPEP was facing a challenge reaching Hispanic retailers, Victor Zaborsky, director of marketing at Washington, D.C.-based MilkPEP, told attendees at the ninth annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, in Las Vegas, on Aug. 16.

To overcome the obstacle, the program worked with David Bishop and Barrington, Ill.-based Balvor LLC to launch the 2012 occasion-based strategy platform that stressed the importance of starting the day right by eating breakfast at home.

“The retail environment is absolutely critical. It is where consumers decide what to drink,” Zaborsky explained. “It is critical to connect with consumers at the store.”

To that end, Balvor connected MilkPEP with Commerce, Calif.-based Unified Grocers, the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery cooperative in the western United States, to pilot the strategy at several Hispanic grocery stores. Marketing tools included door clings, in-store radio spots, shelf wobblers, Facebook posts, e-mail offers and circular ads, according to Bishop, managing partner at Balvor.

The implementation included several commonly known tools; however, Nancy Lopez-Pedroza, regional marketing manager at Unified Grocers, added that in-store radio often gets overlooked.

“In-store radio is a great way to enhance that call to action,” she explained. “It reinforces that call to action.”

And though social media isn’t overlooked -- becoming a must-do over the past few years – it’s key to engage users in the right way, Bishop said. For example, the content should align with retailer's goal.

“If you have bad content it doesn’t matter how many it reaches,” he explained.

Lopez-Pedroza agreed, stressing that content is king. However, many retailers don’t have the infrastructure to develop content, so it’s key for vendors to provide it -- even if it’s brand-specific, she said.

In addition, when it comes to the Hispanic market, bilingual messages engage the most users, Bishop said.

“It is important to talk to the consumer the way they want to be talked to, with culturally relevant information,” Zaborsky agreed, adding that MilkPEP can be a great source for content. The marketing campaign, he explained, has 365 days’ worth of content, ranging from recipes to nutritional facts to fun ideas. MilkPEP makes all content available to retailers.

Combining all the marketing tools with shopper insight proved successful for the pilot program. According to Bishop, the stores that used the occasion-based breakfast program were able to improve the sales performance of milk over time at a faster rate. In addition, the stores saw improved sales of complementary breakfast items, he added. Importantly, he noted, the program did not involve any price promotions or secondary displays.

“An integrated program, over time, can have a positive outcome on behaviors that lead to improved sales,” Bishop said.