Milkpep_The Power of Disruption
Sponsored Content

The Power of Disruption

MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani talks about leveraging disruption to cut through the clutter.
MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani

MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani talks about leveraging disruption to cut through the clutter.

As CEO of Washington, D.C.- based MilkPEP, Yin Woon Rani is responsible for helping milk suppliers and retailers sell more milk. Rani talked to Progressive Grocer about MilkPEP marketing campaigns and how the organization is harnessing the power of disruption to connect with today’s consumer.

Can you tell us a bit about MilkPEP and your role?

MilkPEP is a marketing and education group funded by U.S. dairy milk companies. Our goal at MilkPEP is to help support dairy milk sales through strategic marketing efforts that connect with consumers and shoppers to help highlight the value and benefit of real milk. I became CEO of MilkPEP in 2019 seeking to be a catalyst for change — with a goal of both propelling the dairy community forward while driving reconsideration of milk through strategic and meaningful marketing.

How are you a disruptor?

As an Asian leader, mother and marketer with over 25 years of agency and CPG experience, I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and am excited by the opportunity to push boundaries, test new marketing technologies and change perceptions around the category every day. Milk is an amazing product, an all-natural, affordable superfood, and deserves to be celebrated.

Why do you have to be disruptive today?

It takes a lot to capture the attention of today’s modern family; they are inudated with constant and conflicting messaging — only the most creative, relevant and compelling information sticks. In order to break through the clutter, it is crucial to embrace disruptive marketing strategies.

Consumer preferences, especially among millennials and Gen Z, are changing rapidly, and what worked last year, last month and sometimes even yesterday doesn’t work today. By remaining nimble, challenging conventional methods, adapting to emerging trends and leveraging ever-changing digital practices and platforms, we can showcase the benefits of milk on modern channels, through a modern lens, and capture the attention of today’s families and shoppers.

Can you tell us about MilkPEP’s Gonna Need Milk campaign? Why the introduction of this new platform?

You cannot have disruption without change. We introduced @GonnaNeedMilk with a specific intention — to drive reconsideration of milk as the OG performance beverage and reintroduce milk to today’s families.

How is @GONNANEEDMILK driving disruption outside of introducing a new tagline?

Last fall we launched 26.2, a program dedicated to sponsoring all women running the marathon in NYC while simultaneously supporting the next generation of runners, in partnership with Girls on the Run, an organization dedicated to empowering young girls through running.

We were excited to shake up what a traditional “sponsorship” looks like and sponsor the woman runner — the mother, the daughter, the sister, the athlete — vs. the race.

While milk is a powerful performance beverage for all athletes and endurance runners, our focus is women because we recognized that while a marathon is the same distance for anyone running, women often face significant disparities in terms of sponsorship, support and visibility. In 2023, on International Women’s Day, we extended this program to sponsor all women running any marathon and pledged to only feature women in 100% of our campaigns.

The campaign is disrupting the marathon space — a space primarily held by sports drinks, bottled waters and protein supplements. But when you look at dairy milk’s nutritional package, it naturally has electrolytes, the same ones that are added to commercial sports drinks, and the right 3:1 carb-to-protein ratio for ideal muscle refuel and recovery. Milk keeps you hydrated (even better than water) and helps runners fuel and recover effectively — it’s an important part of marathon training.

What are other areas of disruption from MilkPEP?

It’s important to meet the consumer and the shopper where they are. That means remaining flexible and nimble with where and how we show up. We know that over 80% of Gen Z, which is a critical milk target, play video games, so we knew we had to be a part of the gaming space and are actively listening to them, partnering with influential names and organizations, and creating new content in the space.

And it’s working?

The @GonnaNeedMilk campaign is proving that milk matters in modern lives and diets — it is an important source of support, both in terms of nutrients and performance for the modern family. And we can see the disruptive strategies working! The number of young adults 18- 24 who agree that milk helps them stay hydrated and lead an active lifestyle rose by 10 percentage points in 2022, [1] and 76% of Gen Z teens who were aware of MilkPEP campaigns drank milk yesterday vs. 53% of teens who were not aware.


1. MilkPEP’s Attitudes and Consumption Trackers conducted by Radius. Based on N=2,400 interviews among Gen Z teens and N=803 Gen Z 18-24 (Calendar year 2022)

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds