Friday, February 9, 2024

Dairy Foods and the Super Bowl: Everything you need to know and more


Welcome to Super Bowl weekend. I watch the Big Game for the commercials and half time. This year I will also be keeping my eye on Taylor Swift. (I’m confident enough to admit it.) By the way, did you know she sported a milk mustache back in 2008? Or that her favorite Starbuck’s drink is a grande caramel nonfat latte? Or, that for her 34th birthday on Dec. 13, 2023, she had Chef Christina Tosi’s signature Birthday Cake from the famous Milk Bar bakery in New York City. It’s a three-layer vanilla funfetti-style cake with creamy frosting and crunchy cake crumbs. It’s loaded with dairy, everything from butter and buttermilk to cream cheese and yogurt powder. Like it or not, Taylor Swift is a dairy kinda gal. She likes real meat, too!  

Back to the Big Game. Does anybody recall Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s got milk? commercial back in 2013? You can watch it HERE

Dairy has a long history of being part of the Super Bowl. This year is no exception. Expect to see Danone North America advertising Oikos—now in its fifth consecutive year—and Silk products in commercials. Oikos is all about the protein, the message we all need to emphasize.

And while Door Dash is not a dairy brand, the home-delivery service is making whole milk the star of a commercial that debuted about a month ago and will also air during the Big Game. Check it out HERE.

Did you know that whole milk is ready for a banner year? 

With consumer choice, scientific research and congressional legislation all going its way, 2024 promises to be a breakthrough year for whole milk, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. The final numbers are in, and they confirm what we’ve anticipated all year. In 2023, consumers turned away from plant-based beverages at an accelerating rate that caused the category to lose market share to milk, where whole milk and lactose-free varieties are thriving and surpassing their competitors.

With full year data now available from Circana Inc., plant-based beverage consumption in 2023 fell 6.6% to 337.7 million gallons. It’s the second straight year of declines and the lowest consumption since 2019.

Meanwhile, fluid milk keeps chugging away. To be fair, similar to plant based, consumption of the real deal also declined. However, like plant based, its sales volume number starts with a three but is followed by the word billion, not million. Real milk consumption was 3.14 billion gallons in 2023 and the drop was 2.7%, less than half the rate of decline for plant-based beverages. 

Sales of whole milk, the most popular variety, rose last year, and lactose-free milk jumped 6.7% to 239.2 million gallons. Whole milk is also wanted back in schools. Lactose-free milk may become an option for students, too. 

Parents Want Whole and 2% Milk Back in School Meals
Students in U.S. public schools have not been able to access the milk options that they prefer and consume at home--whole and reduced-fat (2%)—for the past 12 years. As the U.S. Senate considers the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023—bipartisan legislation to reinstate these nutritious milk options in school meals—a new Morning Consult poll of parents with children in public shows near unanimous support for the bill.
Large majorities of parents surveyed in the Morning Consult national tracking poll commissioned by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) want to see whole and 2% milks back in school meals. You can view the entire report HERE.

Key findings include: 
  • 94% of parents serve whole or 2% to their school-aged children at home, and they want these options to be made available to their children at school;
  • 89% of parents agree that whole milk and 2% milk should be options for children in public schools;
  • Most parents of public-school students believe whole (58%) and/or 2% milk (66%) is currently served in their children’s school cafeterias, although it was banned more than a decade ago;
  • 89% of parents support Congress passing legislation to make these options available;
  • Nine in 10 (90%) view drinking milk as an important component of children’s daily nutritional intake; and 
  • Parents consider whole and 2% milks to be healthy (86%), wholesome (83%), nutritious (83%) and tasty (80%).
The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023 would allow schools to once again provide children with a wide variety of milk options that meet their individual needs, whether that be whole or 2%, low-fat, or lactose-free milk. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill in December by a wide margin, while the U.S. Senate companion bill has been cosponsored by 14 bipartisan U.S. Senators.

“Milk’s nutrient package is unmatched, so we want offerings in our schools that kids are more likely to consume,” said Timothy Kelly, vice chair, IDFA Fluid Milk Board, and senior vice president and general manager, Shamrock Foods Company. “The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act offers exactly that, which will help ensure kids today and those of future generations receive critical nutrition during the school day.”

Why Whole and 2% Milk?
Whole and 2% milk provide children with 13 essential nutrients for growth, development, healthy immune function and overall wellness. Since whole and 2% milk were banned from school meals menus more than a decade ago, school milk consumption and meal participation have declined, meaning children are consuming fewer essential nutrients. This is especially concerning considering underconsumption of milk and dairy products is prevalent among school-aged children, where between 68% and 94% of school-age boys and girls are failing to meet recommended levels of dairy intake per federal guidelines. 

At the same time, nutrition science has evolved in the past decade to show neutral or positive benefits of full-fat dairy foods such as whole milk, including less weight gain, neutral or lower risk of heart disease and lower childhood obesity. 

Learn more about the importance of milk—especially whole and 2% milk—in the diets of healthy children HERE.

Heading to Expo West in March? Dairy will have a strong presence on the expo floor. Undeniably Dairy is offering an education sessions--What consumers really want: Top health and wellness trends for food and beverages--on Thursday, March 14 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at the Marriott in the Platinum 5 meeting room. Watch this quick VIDEO to learn more. 

Need innovation inspiration?  
For starters, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Dairy Farmers of America rolled out limited-edition Kemps Select Whole Strawberry Milk. 

Oakhurst, the cooperative’s wholly owned subsidiary, just launched limited-edition Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Donut Flavored Whole Milk. The product is the result of a unique collaboration between Oakhurst Dairy and The Holy Donut, a gourmet donut company that produces a very popular Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Donut.

“We wanted to create a new delicious flavored whole milk for our customers to enjoy as a wholesome treat,” said General Manager of Oakhurst Dairy Mark Page. “In the past we’ve focused on Maine-inspired ingredients like the wild blueberry or maple syrup, but this time we wanted to partner with a local Maine food company known for creating exceptional and high-quality products like we do. Enter The Holy Donut.”

Today’s blog sponsor—Dutch Farms—is rolling out whole and 2% milk in a new 96-ounce 100% recyclable plastic bottle. It has superior oxygen and ultraviolet barriers, which results in better natural milk flavor, according to the company. It stands out in the milk case to create a point of differentiation. 

Organic Valley is differentiating with its new Organic Valley Family First Milk. The new milk features all the goodness of the standard 12 essential nutrients in Organic Valley milks, with added DHA omega 3 to support brain health. This new milk is meant to be enjoyed by milk lovers of all ages and comes from pasture-raised cows on Organic Valley’s small family farms. The milk comes in whole and reduced-fat 2%.

Once Upon a Farm, a childhood nutrition company, is entering the dairy category with real dairy. The company is launching organic A2/A2 Whole Milk Shakes. Available in three flavors—Banana Crème, Strawberry Crème and Triple Berry--these organic whole milk shakes are made with farm-fresh fruits and veggies, A2/A2 organic whole milk and no added sugar. In addition, Once Upon a Farm will release a second product line in its dairy portfolio--Whole Milk Smoothies—this spring. Varieties are Banana Berry Blast, Mango Pear-adise and Orange Squeeze. 

Here’s an opportunity for whole milk, or even better, dairy cream. A number of foodservice media are reporting that 2024 is the year of the drinkable dessert, a.k.a. the milkshake. And this may be with or without alcohol. 

It’s part of the nostalgic phase we are going through, coupled with the attitude that occasional sweet treats are perfectly acceptable as part of a healthful diet. These drinkable desserts may be customized and tend to be easy to make. They can be colorful and have introducing textures. And, most important, they are fun. And consumers are looking for more fun in their life. 

I bet Taylor will be all over them! 

No comments:

Post a Comment