Two major United States milk processors filed for bankruptcy, casting a dark shadow on the American dairy industry.
Dean Foods, who initiated voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in November, cited “a challenging operating environment marked by continuing declines in consumer milk consumption,” among other reasons.
However, one dairy organization shows “a lot of excitement and optimism when it comes to driving dairy demand in the coming year.” Staff members speak to opportunities for United States dairy in a free webinar series.
Midwest Dairy launched Dairy| Today and Tomorrow, a webinar series featuring consumer insights. Megan Sheets, manager of consumer insights for Midwest Dairy, says everyone across the dairy supply chain will find value in this four-part series.
“We’re funded by dairy farmers, and our goal is to increase trust in sales with consumers on behalf of dairy farmers,” Sheets said. “One way we do this is through investing in consumer insights we use to work with and through retail partners.”
Midwest Dairy hosted its first webinar, Millennials and Milk: Three Ways To Reach The Largest Buying Population, which analyzed millennials’ purchasing habits.
“The first webinar had a focus on millennials,” Sheets said. “We partnered with IRI, a market research firm, to conduct a past purchase study, specifically for millennials and milk. Not just how the general population shops for milk, but what makes millennials shop for milk differently. What are they expecting from retailers? When are they purchasing milk? What makes them choose one retailer over another?”
Each webinar concludes with an “activation” piece, which helps retailer partners utilize this new information to better reach consumers.
“This is great information,” Sheets said. “Know that we know how millennials are shopping for milk, differently than older generations, how do we use this information to better engage the millennial as he/she shops for milk and draw them deeper into the category?”
Midwest Dairy will host its second webinar, Boomers vs. Gen Z – How And When Different Generations Shop The Dairy Case, at noon on Tuesday, June 9. This episode will look at dairy as a whole, according to Sheets.
“Dairy is a diverse group. There’s yogurt, drinkable yogurt, processed cheese, natural cheese, and (other) different products,” Sheets said. “We’re looking at some of those top products and who is the ideal audience for each of those and when that segment is shopping in the grocery store.”
Dairy| Today and Tomorrow can be accessed online at www.midwestdairy.com, under “Dairy at Retail” and “Dairy Research & Trends.”