Friday, October 5, 2012

What a Week for Fluid Milk!!!

I try not to be too personal on these blogs, but I must share with you that I had an amazing day on Tuesday when The Fair Oaks Farms Brands Inc., Chicago-based team brought me up to speed (some info will remain in my confidence until they give me the thumbs up to share) on their business and then took me on a personal tour of their Indiana farming operation. This group of dynamic individuals IS changing the way the American consumer will view, use and consume fluid milk in the future. Think out of the gallon jug!

Did you know that their Core Power Strawberry Banana Light high-protein recovery drink uses monk fruit juice concentrate and stevia leaf extract as low-calorie natural sweeteners? Read more HERE.

The next day, Cary Frye, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association, shared the following LINK of her interview on WUSA-TV for a story on milk in schools. Cary does a fantastic job of discrediting the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a vegan group more concerned with the welfare of animals than of school kids’ nutritional status, and delivering the dairy industry’s messages. She does an excellent job of explaining how impractical it would be for kids to consume enough greens in lieu of milk to receive the same amount of calcium. 

But the industry needs your help to support Cary’s comments. Under the video link is a script of the broadcast and room to post comments. As of this morning (October 5, at about 6:30am CDT), there were two comments, both supporting Cary’s views. Please consider making a positive comment.

Also, prior to the broadcast and again afterwards, the anchor solicits feedback from parents and asks them to go to the WUSA Facebook page to post comments. As of this morning, there are 21 comments. They are quite varied, with many packed full of misinformation, such as “everyone is lactose intolerant and milk should be removed from school.”

Please consider linking HERE and posting a positive comment about milk. (You need to scroll down to the Tuesday, 9:17pm, posting. It appears that the presidential debate and the Fonz being a guest anchor on the network trumped the school milk story.)

And here’s some great info to end your week. Chocolate milk sales for the months of July and August rose significantly, according to two recent reports.

IRI/Symphony, a market research firm, reports that sales volume for chocolate milk sold in grocery, drug, club, dollar and military outlets grew 8.3% for the 13 weeks ending September 9, 2012, when compared to the same period in 2011.

USDA statistics for the month of July also showed strong sales volume with an 8.6% increase across all channels selling flavored milk. This is the highest sales gain reported by USDA since early 2010 and possibly longer, according to Julia Kadison, MilkPEP vice president of marketing. “These numbers are clearly a bright spot on the milk landscape.”

The timing corresponds with a major new initiative introduced by the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) in March that highlights chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink. The “Refuel with Chocolate Milk” program highlights chocolate milk as a cornerstone of the after-workout rituals of some of the world’s best athletes, underscored with the tagline “My After.” For more information, link HERE.

Without serving as an official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, MilkPEP took advantage of the games as Olympic athletes and others delivered messages about the importance of refueling with chocolate milk. Chocolate milk as a recovery drink of Olympians was covered in three national morning talk show segments, three national newspapers and a plethora of mainstream online stories. The combined reach for these stories was more than 32 million impressions.

The science behind refueling with low-fat chocolate milk presents a new usage occasion for milk. MilkPEP believes changing the patterns of adult athletes will help convert new milk drinkers and provide lapsed users with another reason to drink milk. It also may create a halo effect that could lead to more in-home consumption of chocolate milk among all family members.

Speaking of chocolate and other flavored milks, please check out the archives of the Daily Dose of Dairy for new milk products HERE. There’s been a great deal of activity in new flavored milks and from what my industry contacts have been telling me, there are many more new flavored milk products in the pipeline.

Remember chocolate milk is the official drink of Halloween. For more information, visit HERE.

This TruMoo half pint retails at my local supermarket for 50 cents. It would be great if they were sold in 10 packs to make it easier for me and other parents to purchase as a healthy snack to help their kids refuel after their sporting events. There’s an idea!

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