Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dairy Foods Packaging Innovation: Take this time to reboot your brand and develop inspirational messaging for post COVID-19 marketing efforts.

I hope that you, your team and all of your families are staying healthy, safe and sane. Thank you to all the dairy farmers, haulers, processors, distributors, retailers and innovators…for your time and energy to keep refrigerators and freezers stocked. Please be smart. Stay active. Eat healthy. Keep clean. Be kind. We can do this. Xo 

It has been truly impressive at how quickly large consumer brands have been able to respond to the changing marketplace. On March 27, The USA Today reported on companies changing their logos to promote social distancing and thwart the coronavirus, this includes McDonald’s breaking up its arches. You can read the article HERE.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is now offering frozen dessert “social distancing” collections available for home delivery. Themes include “emergency chocolate stash” and “build-your-own sundae.” The “happy (virtual) birthday” collection is all about celebrating a loved one’s day of birth from a socially acceptable distance. The collection includes five ice creams, salted caramel sauce, vibrant sprinkles and birthday candles.

Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, Wis., has opened a kindness cooler to help those struggling to make ends meet. Located outside the dairy’s store, the cooler is filled with milk and other dairy products for no charge for those in need. It’s an honor system. It’s all about taking care of people in the community, according to Ames Baerwolf, owner, whose kids came up with the idea while being bored at home.

Watch this VIDEO on the kindness cooler.

Photo source: The Kindness Cooler at Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, Wis. (Source: WMTV)

The takeaway here is to get ready for post-COVID-19 marketing. It’s time to reboot your brand and have it talk to consumers and help them heal. Remind them how butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt and more were there for them during the crisis and will be part of their family dinner as we return to more basic, simpler meals. Domestically produced foods will dominate our plates. Might we be returning to a meat, potatoes, vegetable and glass of milk family dinner table with ice cream for dessert? It’s something to think about.

The dairy industry’s messaging moving forward must focus on the connection. Packaging provides the canvas to communicate.

Haagen-Dazs’ celebratory birthday pint package showcases how a brand can connect with the consumer. Have yours do the same. Link HERE to learn how Double H can assist with your efforts.

A week ago, Delaware-based The Frozen Farmer was featured on The Shark Tank and walked away with funding from Shark investor Lori Greiner, who emphasized she will assist with a branding reboot and package redesign. Greiner noted she would assist The Frozen Farmer with packaging improvement “no matter what,” even before she made Evans an offer.

“These ice creams are the best I’ve ever had in my entire life,” said Greiner in the episode. “I think that your product is fantastic. You have something I think is blue ribbon.”

Many of the Frozen Farmer products are made from the misfit fruits from the fields of Evans’ family’s third-generation farm.

“More than 20% of the fruits and veggies in America don’t make it off the farm because they aren’t perfect enough for the grocery store shelves, resulting in billions of pounds of waste annually,” said Katey Evans, co-owner. “We’re taking the concept of farm-to-table to the next level with a product that offers a way to reduce food waste directly at the farm level by using the imperfect fruit we grow for our line of frozen confections.”

Greiner’s investment relied on Evans’ ability to get The Frozen Farmer into a major national chain. In the six months between the September 2019 filming of the episode and its airing this past Friday, Evans already accomplished that goal.

“You can find The Frozen Farmer on the shelves of every Giant Foods store in the nation,” said Evans, building on the relationship that 2,000-acre Evans Farms already has in supplying the grocery store chain with produce.

Giant Foods carries some of The Frozen Farmer’s fruit flavors like strawberry sorbet and orange creamsicle “nice cream,” along with traditional favorites like chocolate, vanilla, butter pecan and cake batter confetti.

“This isn’t just about us, it’s about all of us--a total food movement for farmers and consumers to become more mindful of where food comes from and how to reduce food waste at any level of consumption,” said Evans.

This is the future of food after COVID-19.

So where is dairy on that family dinner table? According to IRI data, provided courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association, for the week ending March 22, 2020, as compared to the same seven-day period in 2019:
  • Milk now reports a year-to-date volume growth of +1.4%. This is a change. One week earlier, volume sales were -1.5%.
  • Dairy aisle sales are up 58%.
  • Categories continuing to show grow: milk (volume sales only), cheese, butter and pizza.
Food Safety Best Practices and Resources During COVID-19
During this time of uncertainty, consumers, farmers and retailers have many questions regarding food safety and COVID-19. Yaohua Prices “Betty” Feng, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University, and her lab have compiled information from nationwide food safety experts on a central reference website.
  • The website outlines food safety best practices including:
  • Consumer personal hygiene.
  • Stopping the spread of germs.
  • Grocery shopping recommendations.
  • Guidelines for farmers and producers.
  • Guidelines for manufacturers and retailers.
  • Information for extension educators.

The website is continuously updated with the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and food safety. For food safety best practices, please visit the following sites:
English version: Link HERE.
Spanish version: Link HERE.
Chinese version: Link HERE.

World Dairy Innovation Awards…submissions due April 30, 2020.
Dairy processors around the world continue to amaze with their innovation efforts. Here’s a chance to receive recognition: enter The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2020. The U.K.-based FoodBev Media has organized and presented this award for the past 14 years. This year the judges will be selecting winners in 20 different categories. Typically, the finalists and winners are announced at a special gala dinner held during the annual Global Dairy Congress in mid-June. This year’s event has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the announced will be made in a special FoodBev Media & Zenith Global webinar.

For more information and to enter, link HERE. This year, the closing date for entries is April 30, 2020.

To learn what the judges are looking for, link HERE.

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