October 2011 Dairy Checkoff Update: Checkoff-Led Research Efforts Drive Sales, Industry Change

October 2011 Dairy Checkoff Update: Checkoff-Led Research Efforts Drive Sales, Industry Change

A periodic report for dairy media demonstrating how Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) and affiliated state and regional promotion organizations work to increase demand for and sales of dairy products and ingredients through the programs of the American Dairy Association®, National Dairy Council® and U.S. Dairy Export Council®. For more information about these and other dairy checkoff programs, please contact Jennifer Wing at (847) 627-3225 or jennifer.wing@rosedmi.com

The dairy checkoff is leading innovative, industry-wide research that is laying a foundation for increased sales.

To date, $58 million has been committed toward a $100 million research plan, including $45 million from non-checkoff sources. By having others commit to dairy-related research, checkoff priorities are accomplished in a way that allows for more and bigger research platforms, done in a faster timeframe.

“The nature of research makes it a longer-term proposition than other more visible checkoff initiatives,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc, which manages the national dairy checkoff. “Yet, research is at the foundation of all that we do and makes industry innovation possible.”

These research efforts are conducted through the Dairy Research Institute. The DRI was established – and partly funded – by the dairy checkoff in 2010 to help coordinate nutrition, product and sustainability research that will help spur dairy growth.

The DRI works with and through industry, academic, government, and commercial partners to drive pre-competitive research on behalf of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, the National Dairy Council® and other partners. This allows the checkoff and industry to have more access to the technical research needed to drive innovation and demand for dairy products and ingredients in the United States and around the world.

While DRI focuses on technical research, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy – also initiated through the dairy checkoff – conducts consumer research needed to guide industry activation. Among its efforts is consumer-related research that is shared with the industry in the areas of:
· Dairy department/aisle reinvention
· Lactose intolerance
· Hispanic consumers
· Reduced-sodium dairy
· Snacking
· Dairy’s role in competitive beverages

Examples of checkoff-led successes include:
· McDonald’s used checkoff-funded consumer research in consumption habits and milk preferences to determine which types of milk to offer in its McCafѐ® specialty coffee beverages line, which uses around 300 million pounds of additional milk annually. Additionally, consumer research on flavors, sizes and ingredients assisted McDonald’s on its entry into the smoothie category, leading to the chain’s launch of Real Fruit Smoothies featuring low-fat yogurt in 2010 that uses more than 23 million pounds of additional milk annually.

· Checkoff-led product development, marketing strategy and research helped Domino’s Pizza® launch its kid-approved Domino’s Smart Slice line of pizzas, which are now being served in more than 300 school districts in 37 states. Domino’s Smart Slice, which meets stringent nutrition guidelines, used nearly 3.5 million pounds of milk over the last 12 months (through July 2011).

· Dairy Research Institute product research led to the development of consumer acceptable reduced-fat and reduced-sodium processed and natural cheeses. This technology – which was shared with dairy cooperatives – could mean an additional 400 million pounds of milk used each year in the school lunch programs and domestic food assistance programs. In addition, this technology is being used for cheeses sold in commercial foodservice.

· Dairy Research Institute product research assisted in developing domestic production of milk protein concentrate (MPC). Eight U.S. MPC manufacturers now supply ingredients to food and beverage manufacturers. More than 1.4 billion pounds of milk are used annually to manufacture domestically produced MPC.

· A Life Cycle Assessment established a benchmark for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and set the record straight that the U.S. dairy industry represents only about 2 percent of U.S. GHG emissions – far below what had been previously reported.

Wisconsin Teen Wins Show Your Pride Photo Contest
Matt Diederichs, a 17-year-old from Wisconsin, has won the dairy checkoff’s 2011 Show Your Pride producer photo contest.

The goal of the contest was for producers to submit photos depicting their support of the National Football League partnership, Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) and their love of the dairy industry. Matt’s photo – depicting his passion for the Green Bay Packers – has earned him a visit from an NFL player to his family’s farm – Dan and Lori Diederichs Dairy in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Contest photos were posted at www.backtofootballcelebration.com where producers and industry allies could select their favorite image. More than 3,000 votes were cast.

The dairy checkoff, in partnership with the NFL, launched FUTP 60 in 2009. It promotes good nutrition – including low-fat and fat-free dairy – and physical fitness in our nation’s schools to help defeat childhood obesity (the No. 1 public health issue facing our country).

More than 70,000 schools actively participate in FUTP 60, representing two-thirds of the nation’s school districts.

For more information about the checkoff, visit www.dairycheckoff.com

10.31.2011