IDFA Launches New Annual Trade Show

Deciding it can better serve the industry by breaking off from Worldwide Food Expo, the International Dairy Foods Association Board of Directors has accepted the recommendation of its Executive Committee that the association’s dairy trade show become an annual event. 

“The launch of a new annual International Dairy Show in 2010 gives the dairy industry a great opportunity to focus on industry trends and to keep up with a rapidly changing marketplace,” said Gary Vanic, president and CEO of Great Lakes Cheese Co. and IDFA board chairman.

Research indicated that IDFA’s trade show could provide greater value for the dairy community and IDFA members by offering an event focused on trends and innovations in the dairy industry.  Exhibitors and attendees who participate in Worldwide Food Expo indicated through interviews and surveys that an annual event would create more opportunity to showcase product and packaging innovation as well as provide more frequent interaction between suppliers and processors.

“With the new show, we will be able to focus on the topics, issues and products dairy professionals care about most,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “It will provide the learning, networking and trade show experience the dairy industry depends on to stay on top of the latest trends and issues.”

The first International Dairy Show will be held Sept. 13 to 15, 2010, in Dallas. The location of future shows will be based on competitive pricing and access for exhibitors and attendees.

For the past 10 years, IDFA has co-located its biennial trade show with the American Meat Institute in Chicago.

Washington, D.C.-based IDFA represents 530 companies in a $110 billion-a-year industry, including 220 dairy processing members with more than 600 plant operations. More information is at

Lala acquires Farmland Dairies

Continuing its expansion into the United States, Mexico’s Grupo Lala has finalized its acquisition of New Jersey-based Farmland Dairies, which extends Lala’s distribution into the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Lala is a leading provider of milk and dairy products in Mexico and Latin America, and over the past year has emerged as a leading processor in the United States. With the acquisitions of Farmland and of National Dairy earlier this year, Lala operates 20 local and regional dairy processing facilities in 14 states.

Formerly owned by Parmalat, Farmland Dairies emerged from bankruptcy in April 2005 in the wake of Parmalat’s financial scandal and, under the direction of president and CEO Martin Margherio, has developed a highly efficient, customer-focused company. Its Wallington, N.J., facility is one of the largest HACCP-certified fluid milk plants in the United States.

Shortly before Lala’s transaction was complete, Farmland sold its Grand Rapids, Mich., ESL manufacturing facility to Agropur, a dairy cooperative in Canada. This plant will operate under Agropur’s Minnesota-based Schroeder Milk subsidiary, which it acquired late last year.

Farmland Dairies’ brands, management, personnel and company name will remain unchanged, Lala management said in a press release. Farmland Dairies’ brands include Farmland, Farmland Special Request, Welsh Farms, Clinton and Skim Plus. Lala’s lineup of brands includes Borden’s, Dairy Fresh, Velda Farms, Coburg, Dairymen’s, Cream O’Weber, H. Meyer, Sinton Dairy and Promised Land.

PEP Rally

Milk ‘rock stars’ deliver great sales performances.

What better venue than Cleveland’s House of Blues to applaud the performances of milk sales and marketing pros?

Surrounded by memorabilia from the country’s greatest rock stars, MilkPEP recognized smash-hit promotions that pumped up milk sales by integrating local brands with the nationally recognized Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign.  There were 34 award winners across six categories recognized at August’s Peppy Awards, I’ve pulled out a few that I thought were especially exciting, both in execution and in results.

Halloween stirs up retail results

Halloween, a perpetual favorite milk marketing holiday, brought out the best in Kroger Columbus Division’s Vince Front to win the Retail Category. Using MilkPEP’s popular “Chocolate Milk: The Official Drink of Halloween” theme, Front focused on standing out in the overcrowded dairy aisle. He spooked Kroger dairy managers into creating Halloween dairy aisle displays using POS from the Halloween kit-in-the-box distributed by MilkPEP. Front sparked creativity by turning the displays into a contest among managers. The treat? A chance to win an iPod.

How can you drive retail sales?

Start by familiarizing your retail accounts with MilkPEP promotions and how POS will add excitement to the dairy case and help increase sales.

Make it easy on yourself by shipping POS directly to where it needs to go – your dairy, retail stores or a third party for distribution.

Reach out to all channels of retail – drug stores, c-stores and mass merchandisers. Also, meet with non-traditional grocery stores to implement programs such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart.

If your retail accounts have “clean store policies” or rules regarding the use of POS, consider holding a sampling event in the store to get the message out.

Check out to find out about the upcoming promotions and more ways to take advantage of POS with your retail customers.

Packaging that works hard

Packaging is always a great way to support in-store promotions. To support the Halloween excitement of the displays, Front also created new half-gallon chocolate milk packaging to tie it directly to the promotional activity happening in the store.

Plus, consumers are always thirsty for health and nutrition information, and your milk labels are the perfect opportunity to tout milk’s benefits, right at the point of sale. Great packaging not only tells your nutrition story, but creative packaging can set you apart.

How to create labels that stick

The claims section of features labeling claims you can use to help reinforce milk’s nutritional benefits. You can remind Mom that milk is an “excellent source of calcium” and that the “vitamin D in milk helps build strong bones.” And tell teens who are searching out energy drinks that milk is a natural source of phosphorous, a mineral that keeps your body energized. Even tell athletes that drinking chocolate milk within two hours of physical exercise can help refuel their muscles. Savvy consumers are reading labels and making decisions at retail based on nutrition claims, don’t let them pass you by.

‘Hola!’ to growing Hispanic market

As our country’s Hispanic population skyrockets (today, it counts for 15% of the U.S. population), MilkPEP wants to help you aggressively target Spanish-speaking consumers to encourage healthy beverage choices for their families. Take some cues from Ron Mele, account manager with Swiss Dairy. Refuel with Chocolate Milk drove messaging in stores with posters and banners in Spanish, as well as at grassroots events including free sampling at the Champions for Change Health Walk/March. To celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, Swiss Dairy created retail displays and sponsored two different Milk Mustache Mobile tours.

By the way, so committed to the Hispanic market is Swiss Dairy that they were able to enter four of the five Hispanic award categories! That alone is impressive. Find out more about trends among Hispanic consumers at

Vending: Music to everyone’s ears

Galliker Dairy recognizes that vended milk is a great way to increase milk sales.  Consumers are looking for healthy alternatives when they’re on the go. In the Channel Expansion category for Vending, Marketing Manager Susan Angeletti pushed all the right buttons to increase both milk sales and excitement at a local high school. She created a vending machine promotion for Galliker Dairy that was music to the students’ ears: the potential to win a free music download with each purchase.

The two-week program was aimed at an audience of about 1,500 students. Cleverly, Angeletti promoted the dairy’s 16-ounce single-serve plastic bottles, the same ones families could buy in local grocery stores. This decision not only allowed for greater brand recognition outside of the school, it also encouraged students and parents to purchase milk regularly both at school and at retail.

“Galliker’s & Moosic” school vending promotion made buying milk an adventure. Each time a student purchased a Galliker product from the cafeteria vending machines, they had the chance to win downloadable music cards. How did they find out whether or not they had won? Custom Moosic Cow stickers were randomly stuck on the bottoms of bottles being loaded into the machines. Students simply had to turn their bottles over, and could then redeem each sticker for a downloadable music card.

Promotional material included posters hung in the school and corner-cut window clings on each vending machine.

Best of all, Angeletti was able to measure results: vending sales increased by 13%, and Galliker saw a retail lift immediately following the promotion.

Next year, the applause could be for you. It’s easy to deliver encore performances for milk. Visit us at for ideas and free promotional materials. And your results could take center stage.  n

Mike Simmons is director of processor relations for the Milk Processor Education Program.