Dairy Month offers plenty of opportunities for grocers to drive sales.
June is National Dairy Month, and opportunities abound for grocers to bust it out all over.
With kids finishing school for the summer next month, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) and its national Milk Mustache "got milk?" campaign are focusing Dairy Month (also known as June Dairy Month) efforts on promoting milk as part of a good family breakfast at home. "The program will kick off summer with tips and recipes to help families start the day right," says Donna Armstrong, senior communications manager for Washington, D.C.-based MilkPEP.
This year's program will include a news push via national media, social media and influencer out-reach, including insights from kids on their morning meals; breakfast-focused tools and point-of-sale (POS) materials for retailers; resources for supermarket dietitians, including recipes, tips and other materials, at MilkPEP's Supermarket RD Hub (www.gotmilksales.org/supermarket-rds/); and Facebook and Twitter content including recipes and tips for new breakfast routines.
In America's Dairyland, the Madison-based Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) offers an online guide (www.dairydaysofsummer.com) of events statewide celebrating Dairy Month. A calendar of events, searchable by date and region, includes farm breakfasts, library programs and other events ripe for partnerships with local grocers.
Meanwhile, in the land of happy cows, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) publishes a "30 Days of California Dairy" calendar with daily tips for incorporating dairy into consumer diets. "The tips are written for easy use in social media not only by the CMAB, but also by our processor and retailer partners," says Jennifer Giambroni, director of communications for South San Francisco-based CMAB (www.realcaliforniamilk.com). "At retail, we do an on-pack coupon for any cheese that carries the Real California Cheese seal."
CMAB's biggest event during Dairy Month is a farm-to-table media tour featuring visits to a modern dairy farm and processing facility, and a chance to meet with experts on animal care, sustainability and nutrition. Tour attendees can sample from special dairy-centric tasting menus prepared by local chefs.
CMAB offers an additional June retail promotional opportunity. "Every year, we apply for a governor's proclamation declaring June 'Real California Milk Month' in addition to National Dairy Month," Giambroni notes.
More Cool Ideas
The Harrisburg, Pa.-based National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) offers its members an array of resources to promote their own June Dairy Month activities.
Among the activities NFRA's website (www.nfraweb.org) recommends to drive in-store dairy sales next month: a two-page newspaper FSI distributed to 28 million consumers, with coupons and product shots of participating brands; a $10,000 sweepstakes at NFRA's consumer website, www.EasyHomeMeals.com; POS items and other promotional ideas available on the group's website; a show devoted to Dairy Month as part of NFRA's partnership with the Mr. Food Test Kitchen; Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest activity; and a general media push to generate interest in the refrigerated aisles.
June Dairy Month also offers another opportunity to win the NFRA's Golden Penguin Award for outstanding merchandising during June. Awards will be presented at the group's convention in San Diego this October.
National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially created to stabilize dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but has now developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world. After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name soon changed to Dairy Month.
Retailers Score with Breakfast Promo
The Breakfast Blitz Retail Display Contest was part of the Milk Processor Education Program's (MilkPEP) first-ever integrated campaign using the "big game" as a platform to drive milk sales by stressing the importance of breakfast to health and wellness, and offering easy breakfast meal solutions.
When breakfast products such as eggs, bacon, cereal and English muffins were featured in a display alongside milk, retailers reported notable increases across the board. "Retailers who featured milk along with other breakfast products benefited the most, because they saw an immediate incremental sales lift for milk, as well as for some of the other items, making this a much bigger success story for them," says Melissa Malcolm, field marketing manager at Washington, D.C.-based MilkPEP. Retailers were further able to boost milk sales during the football playoff season, when there's typically not a lot of action at the milk case. The Breakfast Blitz Display Contest, along with MilkPEP's other Breakfast Blitz promotional activities, allowed retailers to further leverage this sales-driving opportunity.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee was a big winner in the promotion, with three individual locations in Minnesota reporting increases in milk sales of 50 percent to more than 500 percent. Other winners included King Kullen in New York, Marketplace Food & Drug in Minnesota and Robies in Louisiana. Dairy managers at these stores each won a $500 gift card for their successful retail displays.
Retailers can find more dairy sales-building resources at gotmilksales.org.