Milk, Post Cereal Join Forces for Back-to-School Promotion

Moms know that starting the day with a nutritious breakfast is one sure way to help students prepare for a long day of learning. That’s why this school year, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), creator of the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign, has partnered with Post cereals for a Back to School Breakfast promotion, which is designed to remind moms that serving breakfast powered by milk and Post cereals will help kids “Unlock Their Potential.” 

“Moms will be excited to get their children off to a good start every morning this school year by serving cold milk with Post cereals,” said Julia Kadison, vice president of marketing for Washington, D.C.-based MilkPEP. “Participation in the back-to-school promotion is easy and can help processors increase milk sales with POS [point-of-sale] and fun activities for kids.”

The Back to School Breakfast promotion includes a fun, online game for moms with instant-win prizes. The promotion also is part of the year-long “Building Strong Families” campaign from MilkPEP, which is designed to create excitement in the dairy case and sell more milk by encouraging moms to serve milk at meal and snack times. In addition to POS, national print and television advertising, public relations and local market processor events support the campaign throughout the year.

“Building Strong Families” also provides support for the Hispanic market with complementary bilingual materials for each general market promotion. In-store POS with contest messaging and a free-standing insert driving consumers in-store for joint savings on the purchase of milk and Post cereals are available.

Free, downloadable and customizable graphics and materials are available online at www.milkpep.org.  


Report Addresses Impacts to Dairy Industry

The soon-to-be-released 2010 Dietary Guidelines and new information about lactose intolerance are among the key challenges and opportunities facing the dairy industry today, according to the Dairy Council of California’s Functional Foods Task Force.

Made up of 14 dairy industry leaders representing research and development, marketing, regulation, education and communications, the task force meets annually to discuss nutrition and dairy research, public policy, regulations and consumer perceptions that impact dairy.

As part of the guideline changes, sodium recommendations will likely be reduced from today’s limit of 2300 mg to 1500 mg per day. This means that the perception and consumption of cheese could be greatly impacted and can pose production, flavor and food safety challenges to the dairy industry. The consumer will be looking for “reduced” and “low-sodium” products, yet will not want to compromise the flavor of their favorite foods.

New research and public health reports on lactose intolerance concur that many people worldwide lose some ability to digest the milk sugar lactose as they age. There are many ways to minimize symptoms of lactose intolerance while including dairy products in the diet. The task force agreed that aggressive education to both the consumer and the health professional is needed to inform people that lactose intolerance can be managed without omitting dairy from the diet.

Other topics discussed include front-of-package and nutrient labeling systems and focus on fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium, the likelihood that the vitamin D recommendation will increase in the new guidelines, and the growing positive research around whey protein, which is especially strong in the sports nutrition and weight management arenas.

For a complete Functional Foods Task Force report, visit www.dairycouncilofca.org and click on the industry section on the “About Us” page, or call 916/263-3560.


New Dietary Guidelines Promote More Milk Consumption

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Heath and Human Services released a final report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that reaffirmed the need for most Americans (ages nine and older) to consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products per day. It also reaffirmed that children ages eight and younger should consume two servings of these products to get the nutrition they need.

HHS and USDA will use the report recommendations, along with comments received from the public and the food industry, to update the current Dietary Guidelines, which is expected to be released by the end of this year.

The Dietary Guidelines serve as the official government recommendations for how Americans should eat and provide the basis for all federal nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch Program.

“Low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products are positively positioned in the report with the explicit recommendation for Americans to increase their consumption to recommended amounts. The committee noted that Americans currently are only consuming 52% of the recommended amounts,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs. “The report also affirmed that it is especially important to encourage young children to drink milk because those who consume milk as children are more likely to continue to do so through adulthood.”

Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber were identified in the final report as nutrients that Americans are under consuming and the dairy group provides three of these nutrients. In addition, the report maintains the recommendation for those with lactose intolerance to look within the dairy group first for lactose-reduced or low-lactose dairy products to meet their calcium needs.

The overall goal of the report is to reduce the levels of obesity in the American population, particularly children. To that end, the report focused on the need to encourage people to consume nutrient-dense foods, shift eating patterns to a more plant-based diet, reduce consumption of added sugars, solid fats (which includes milk fat) and sodium, and increase physical activity.

IDFA also will continue to analyze the 1,000-plus-page report, with special emphasis on the possible impact it may have on certain dairy products, including regular cheese and sugar-sweetened dairy products such as flavored milks, yogurts and frozen desserts.

Go to http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-DGACReport.htm to read the entire report.