The dairy industry has unveiled a major initiative to build business value and meet the growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products by committing to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2020, equivalent to taking more than 1.25 million passenger cars off the road every year.

Dairy Takes On Emissions

The dairy industry has unveiled a major initiative to build business value and meet the growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly products by committing to a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2020, equivalent to taking more than 1.25 million passenger cars off the road every year.

The announcement was made by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, an organization that brings together leaders in the dairy value chain, including producer organizations, dairy cooperatives, processors and manufacturers such as Hilmar Cheese Co., Leprino Foods, Dairylea Cooperative, Anderson Erickson Dairy, Land O’Lakes and Dairy Farmers of America.

The industry-wide effort launches with a focus on the fluid milk value chain - from farm to table - and includes a series of projects that will reduce energy use, increase efficiency and help the industry tap into new sources of income.

“Consumers increasingly demand nutritious dairy products that are produced, packaged and distributed in an environmentally sustainable way, and the U.S. dairy industry intends to meet their needs proactively,” said Tom Gallagher, chief executive officer of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Rosemont, Ill.-based Dairy Management Inc. “The dairy industry has a long history of environmental stewardship. Through this sustainability initiative, we continue our legacy of producing high-quality nutritious foods that enrich and sustain life.”

As part of the initiative, the center divulged 12 projects offering a range of solutions for large and small operations across all industry segments. These projects have the potential to create an estimated $238 million in business value and reduce GHG emissions by 3.2 million metric tons.

Health, Freshness Dominate Retailing Efforts

Consumers are embracing a “good food equals good health” philosophy while retailers are reworking their corporate philosophies and store formats to accommodate this movement, according to What’s In Store 2009. This trends report, conducted by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, outlines ways health concerns are affecting supermarkets, especially in the prepared foods, dairy, deli and bakery departments.

For instance, some industry sources predict the popularity of spacious mega-stores will be usurped by these smaller-sized express outlets because they have a small footprint, limited product selection and lots of prepared food items. Many retailers have been busy creating smaller format stores, most with names that reflect a fresh, healthy, natural experience. Industry observers predict that express stores could increase in number from 20 in 2007 to around 4,000 by 2010.

Furthermore, retailers have created a variety of initiatives to cater to customer health interests, such as health-oriented signage and shelf tags, wellness newsletters, in-store medical clinics, immunizations and health screenings, cooking demonstrations and proprietary labeling systems to distinguish more healthful products.

Third Annual MilkPEP Awards Announced

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has announced the call for entries for the third annual MilkPEP Awards. Also known as the PEPPY Awards, they honor salespeople and other dairy representatives who increase milk sales in various channels such as retail and schools, using MilkPEP marketing programs and promotions throughout the year.

Entries are due by June 12, 2009, for programs implemented between June 2008 and June 2009. The 2009 PEPPY winners will be announced during the 2009 Dairy Sales and Marketing Meeting in Cleveland, Aug. 4-5. Milk rock stars will shine during a special awards ceremony scheduled on the evening of Aug. 5 at the House of Blues.

As part of the renowned National Milk Mustache “got milk?” advertising campaign, MilkPEP develops programs and promotions each year to help processors amp up milk sales by creating excitement and demand among consumers. The 2009 campaign “Drink Well. Live Well” offers a variety of promotions that includes retail point-of-sale, national television and print advertising, grassroots outreach and public relations support.

The MilkPEP Awards are an opportunity for processors to demonstrate their proven success using MilkPEP programs and receive industry recognition for their efforts. Entries for the 2009 MilkPEP Awards will be accepted in six categories: retail, schools, grassroots, Hispanic, processor and producer coordination, and channel expansion.

“Participation in the MilkPEP programs and awards continues to grow,” says Julie Buric, vice president of marketing for MilkPEP. “Each year we see an increase in the number of entries received. The awards are a great way for processors to learn from one another as they look for ways to integrate this year’s ‘Drink Well. Live Well.’ promotions into their own brands to grow sales.”

To qualify for a MilkPEP Award, programs must have been implemented between June 2008 and June 2009. Entry forms are available online at Entries will be judged on the degree of participation, creative use of MilkPEP materials and positive results. Nominees are encouraged to submit photos, videos, point-of-sale materials, displays and other supporting materials to demonstrate success.

Winners from each category will be selected by a panel of judges. Among the six category winners, one winner will be selected for the Grand PEPPY and be featured in a National Milk Mustache “got milk?” advertisement in Dairy Foods. Complete details and entry forms are available at or by contacting Mike Simmons, MilkPEP’s director of processor relations, at 202/420-0468 or

Publix, Wells Among Winners at Ice Cream Tech Flavor Contest

Oatmeal and granola emerged as favorite ingredients in the winners of the new ice cream flavor contest at the International Dairy Foods Association’s Ice Cream Technology Conference.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie ice cream, submitted by repeat win ner Publix Super Markets Inc., was named favorite new flavor; Oatmeal Scotch Cookie Ice Cream from Sensient Flavors won as favorite innovative prototype flavor; and Raspberry Vanilla Aspen Frozen Granola Bars by Wells’ Dairy Inc. took honors as the favorite innovative novelty in the “What’s Your Favorite Flavor?” contest sponsored by Dairy Foods.

“It appears that ice cream makers are looking to the breakfast table for inspiration,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president for regulatory affairs and the event’s chief organizer. “Featuring oatmeal and granola in the winning flavors reflects a consumer trend toward selecting foods that are both good and good for you.”

The Ice Cream Technology Conference is the premier event for frozen dessert professionals and focuses specifically on frozen dessert research, technology, new market trends and opportunities. In addition to the favorite flavor contest, this year’s conference featured presentations on sweeteners and additives, research on consumer trends and preferences and a discussion of the impact of the recent peanut recall on the ice cream industry.

For a complete list of winners, visit

The conference took place Feb. 26 and 27 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. IDFA would like to thank five sponsors for their generous support of the 2009 Ice Cream Technology Conference: Dairy Foods, Danisco, Ellison Bakery, Symrise Inc. and Wisdom Natural Brands.