Thursday, October 25, 2012

Real Resources for Dairy Product Developers and Marketers

The beauty of the blog is that it can be long or short, personal or impersonal, on schedule or not. It’s the internet, and there are few restraints.

With that said, today’s will be short and personal, as my husband’s grandmother of 102 years just passed and I am rebooting and rescheduling (especially with Pack Expo in town) in order to attend the out-of-state services.

Over the years I’ve written about this incredible lady numerous times. When it came to food, she believed everything delicious can be consumed in moderation. As a French Canadian, this 90-pound petite lady enjoyed REAL cream with her coffee, spread REAL butter on her bread and snacked on REAL cheese with crackers. Need I say more?

Resource #1: The REAL Seal.
Summary: As part of its efforts to revitalize one of the most recognized product symbols in the food industry, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the organization driving this effort, says that the REAL Seal is undergoing a makeover. The first step is the launch of a revamped website. Visit it HERE.

The previous website existed primarily as a resource for dairy product manufacturers and marketers interested in putting the REAL Seal on their packaging. This, of course, is a great thing. But the new website is so much more. It contains content to educate consumers about why they should look for the REAL Seal on the foods they buy, while also continuing to provide information for those companies using the REAL Seal to enhance their product marketing.

“Research has found that 93% of consumers know of the REAL Seal, and that many people find it useful in making buying decisions,” says Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF. “Imitation products made from vegetables and nuts, but packaged like real dairy products and often using dairy names, have proliferated in the last few years. For example, frozen desserts made out of soybeans are packaged the same as real ice cream made from cows’ milk, with pictures that make it look like real ice cream. The only way a consumer would know the product isn’t ice cream is by reading the ingredients label.”

The same is true for other processed foods made with imitation dairy products, notes Kozak. “Currently, frozen pizza is essentially the only processed food that uses the REAL Seal. We intend to expand the products eligible to use the REAL Seal beyond that that category.”

To address expanded use of the REAL Seal, the seal itself is in the process of being tailored to other applications. Terms like “Made With” real dairy, and “American Made,” along with specific dairy product names, will be stacked above and below the basic REAL Seal.

“Our goal is to have a fully integrated program up and running early in 2013,” Kozak says. “We know dairy farmers are enthusiastic about the REAL Seal, and we’re excited about the tremendous potential this has for expanding sales of REAL dairy products made from U.S. dairy farmers’ milk.

“Consumers continue to express an interest in food quality and integrity, through the choices they make at grocery stores and restaurants,” Kozak says. “Labeling is an integral part of creating and maintaining a dialogue with them.”

The revitalized program strives to educate new generations of dairy consumers about the significance of the REAL Seal, revitalizing the brand and talking to them about the good taste, nutritional value and wholesomeness associated with dairy foods and dairy food ingredients.

Apparently, Great Grand-Ma-Ma had this knowledge!

Resource #2: Ingredient Info

Here’s a tool from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) to help communicate information about ingredients.

Summary: We enjoy a food supply that is safe, convenient, healthful, flavorful and affordable. Food ingredients--both those that have been used for centuries, as well as those developed more recently--help to make that possible. Connect HERE.

Resource #3: Interested in understanding the sweetness of ice cream?
Summary: An article on the relative sweetness of ice cream has been added to the Dairy Science and Food Technology website. Connect HERE.

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