Friday, June 7, 2019

Dairy Garners Lots of Attention this Week

It’s been one busy week. It was so wonderful to visit with many Daily Dose of Dairy subscribers at the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) expo in Orlando, as well as the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) annual meeting and expo in New Orleans. (Sorry to the many who had travel issues. I am thrilled to report that my flight got me home a few minutes early, unlike last time IFT was in New Orleans and it took me three days!)

Cheese was the star at IDDBA 19 and marketers showed attendees—mainly brokers, buyers and distributors—that innovation in this sector shows no signs of slowing. Snacking cheeses were plentiful and are getting more creative through upscale pairings and worldly flavors.

 Source: IRI data provided to Dairy Management Inc., courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association

Year-to-date volume sales of retail packaged cheese were up 2.2% through April 21, 2019, according to IRI data provided to Dairy Management Inc., courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association. Convenience forms of cheese, such as natural slices and shreds, as well as convenient snacking forms, such as cubes, sticks and string, are key drivers of growth. Cube is up almost 15% YTD, while sticks are up 10.9% YTD. Please note that this data does not include snacking cheeses sold outside of “dairy.” For example, there are cubes being sold in store-made snack kits and sticks being wrapped with charcuterie and merchandised in the deli meat department. These are additional sales.

IDDBA 19 had a record breaking attendance and the event offered an abundance of educational experiences from actionable merchandising ideas—such as meal kits for cats and dogs, which included cheese cubes--and presentations from influencers and experts. The Daily Dose of Dairy was LIVE on Sunday. Link HERE to view my 20-minute overview of what’s driving innovation in the refrigerated dairy space.

 To celebrate June as National Dairy Month, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) is raising awareness of the contemporary dairy department. Today’s modern dairy aisle is not your grandfather’s dairy aisle, according to NFRA. It’s all about trendy, nutritious, innovative beverages and foods made with real ingredients and offering farm-to-table freshness. The new dairy department offers something creative and palette-pleasing for everyone.

“It has evolved over the years,” says chef, entertaining expert and TV personality James Briscione, “adapting to new lifestyle changes, food trends and important dietary needs.”

It’s exciting to see dairy being called out on foodservice menus, too. Wendy’s, for example, is bringing back its Berry Burst Chicken Salad for the summer months. It is prepared in-restaurant daily and features hand-cut strawberries, juicy blueberries, tangy feta cheese and freshly grilled chicken on a bed of crisp lettuce. Each salad is packed with nutritional goodness, as it contains a half-cup of fruit, half-cup of dairy and almost two cups worth of vegetables in the full-size variety. This is part of the chain’s messaging. Wendy’s continues to focus on real, whole foods. When it comes to protein, the chain keeps it simple and clean: beef, chicken, bacon and cheese.  

At IFT, while plant proteins and CBD were very prominent, dairy proteins held their own. After all, they are super proteins. To read about their superiority and what the dairy ingredients industry plans to do to promote their position, link HERE to an article I recently wrote for Food Business News on Dairy Proteins vs. Plant Proteins.

In honor of National Dairy Month, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) launched an updated version of its popular economic impact tool Dairy Delivers. This online interactive resource provides data on the combined impact of the dairy products industry at the national, state and Congressional district levels across the U.S. It is the most comprehensive and current analysis of how the production and marketing of all dairy products—milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt and cultured products, and ingredients like protein powders and whey—positively affect the U.S. economy. Data include direct and indirect measures of output, wages, jobs, state and national GDP, and contributions to taxes at the local, state and national levels.

You can link to Dairy Delivers HERE.

Throughout the month of June, IDFA will share more than 50 short social media friendly videos on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (@dairyidfa) detailing the economic impact of the dairy industry in the U.S. as well as in each of the 50 states. We begin with the U.S. Click on the video image to play.

Overall, the dairy industry supports the U.S. economy in the following ways:
  • Contributes 1% to national GDP.
  • Adds $620 billion in total economic impact.
  • Supports more than three million total jobs.
  • Provides a $64.5 billion contribution to federal, state and local taxes (not including sales taxes paid by consumers).
  • Generates $38 billion in direct wages for workers in dairy industry.
“Not only do dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages, but they also drive growth, support jobs and contribute to a healthy economy. As the voice of the dairy industry, IDFA is proud to introduce Dairy Delivers 2.0, the most comprehensive picture of dairy’s impact on the U.S. economy,” says Michael Dykes, president and CEO of IDFA. “There is new economic data detailing how the five major segments of dairy make a difference across country. From dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, IDFA’s members are dedicated to making safe, delicious products that nourish and sustain people while delivering for our economy.”

Users of Dairy Delivers will learn how dairy products contribute directly to the U.S. economy, including:
  • Milk: Adds $51.4 billion in direct economic impact and supports 64,400 dairy industry jobs.
  • Ice Cream: Adds $11 billion in direct economic impact and supports 26,100 dairy industry jobs.
  • Cheese: Adds $50.9 billion in direct economic impact and supports 52,200 dairy industry jobs.
  • Yogurt and Cultured Products: Adds $5.5 billion in direct economic impact and supports 6,900 dairy industry jobs.
  • Dairy Ingredients: Adds $14.1 billion in direct economic impact and supports 9,300 dairy industry jobs.

Then there’s the last item on my list. The Fair Oak Farms/fairlife milk situation regarding animal abuse is upsetting and one that puts the entire dairy industry—from farm to fridge—under the magnifying glass. If you are unaware of the situation, link HERE to the company’s response to the scandal and surf the internet to educate yourself on how consumers—and retailers--are reacting.

I find the timing of the release of the video at the onset of National Dairy Month to be uncanny. Makes you wonder motive. 

I appreciate commentary by Mike Opperman, editor of Dairy Herd Management. Please link HERE to his editorial titled "I drink fairlife and I feel good about it." I agree with his perspective.

We need to get educated. Be smart. And take care of our farm animals.

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