Dairy farmers and McDonald’s

Have you seen the fun new video that McDonald’s has?  I was so excited to watch it.  You can see it right here.

Did you know that out of every 100 pounds of milk we sell, 15 cents is set aside to pay for dairy promotion?  All of the nearly 53,000 dairy farmers across this nation chip in, and the money is pooled to drive demand for dairy products.  There are tons of avenues for this promotion to happen.

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In a Mankato, Minnesota Cub Foods store, I heard the most interesting stories from customers, answered questions, and thanked them for buying dairy.

The photo above is one way of doing promotion.  Yet, it is hard for one 8-months-pregnant lady to reach a huge audience while standing in the dairy aisle.  It makes so much sense to use the teams and resources that are available to us.  So, dairy farmers have partnered up.

Do you remember Domino’s pizza changing stuff around?  In 2008, they decided to do some reformulations focusing on better ingredients to make a better pizza.  A great tasting pizza just has to have a lot of cheese.  (To put a number to it, in the first 3 years after their reformulation they used a extra 6.6 billion pounds of milk equivalent on their pizzas.)  When they did their roll-out, they invited dairy farmers to come to their stores, hand out slices of pizza, and tell the story of how they produce  milk back home.  It was a HUGE success.  Dairy farmers and Dominoes both win.  This is just one example.

Let’s talk about McDonalds.  When we (and when I saw we, I mean Dairy Management Inc, who manages the dairy checkoff dollars) teamed up with McDonald’s, the idea was to create menu options, containing dairy, that consumers want.  So DMI sent 3 food scientists, a dietitian, a chef, and a marketing specialist to their Product Development Center.  By doing that, it accelerated the process of McDonald’s adding new milk beverages to their menu, including frappes, fruit smoothies, and other specialty coffee drinks (which, by the way, are often 80% milk).    The result:  an additional 1 billion pounds of fluid milk sold.  The bonus is that other fast-food chains keep a close watch on McDonald’s and usually follow suit.

Dairy farmers are often so busy just tending to cows and land, that it is hard to spend the time to ‘tell the story’.  So, it is such a honor that McDonald’s produced this video.  We are always proud to produce milk but it sure is nice to hear someone say “Thanks!  Great job!”.

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