Best of Show

Sorrento Shapesters were well received by both retailers and consumers in target markets, and stimulated growth in addition to snack cheese category growth. Sorrento’s market research indicated Shapesters volume would be vital to the snack cheese category, replacing purchases of processed singles and block cheddar. As predicted, growth in the target markets exceeded growth in the category by 6 percent and 2003 objectives by more than 60 percent.
Schroeder’s Hyper Cow dairy beverage’s full-wrap label is a re-creation of crumpled-up notebook paper with hand-drawn doodles or sketches and little written comments on everything from the real seal to the UPC code. The fearless protagonist Hyper Cow is drawn in the perils of a number of extreme sport stunts.
Two entries tied for Best of Show this year:
Sorrento Lactalis Inc. for Best New Product
Schroeder Co. for Best Package Design

Best Overall: Plains Dairy
Serving its community for 70 years, Plains Dairy has branded itself as the hometown dairy, which means local freshness and community involvement. To reinforce that image, Plains let “the cows go on deliveries,” with lifelike graphics that turn the heads of bystanders as Plains trucks pass by. The local wholesomeness of Plains milk is reinforced by the testimony of the bovine quartet. Though difficult to quantify the result of image branding such as this transit billboard, customer comments have been favorable. The message is reinforced: “Your hometown dairy, it’s Plains to see.”
Cheese: Sargento Foods
To increase awareness and drive trial of Sargento Deli-Style Slices, Sargento used transit billboards to communicate the benefits of natural cheese for seasonal grilling and suggested varieties not usually considered for cheeseburgers.
Cultured: Schepps Dairy
The company’s “To Diet For” billboard leveraged a strong message and tied it back to the brand essence of its longtime slogan, “The Dairy Best.” This ad increased word-of-mouth attention among retail customers and the general public, which has encouraged key accounts to boost Schepps brand presence in their dairy cases.
Ice Cream: Marigold Foods
This company’s billboard, to generate awareness of Kemps Moon Over Maui ice cream, generated significant merchandising lifts for its premium scround business. The first in a two-part series heralding Kemps Flavors From Around the World, the billboard also generated excitement for a contest promotion offering a trip to Hawaii.
Best Overall: Horizon Organic
Horizon created a direct-mail piece for its new iron-fortified infant formula. Research showed an important strategy would be to reach out to pediatricians, whom mothers look to for confirmation and support. Horizon’s “Good News” introductory kit for pediatricians included a sample can of formula, product brochure, a coffee cup and organic coffee, along with an invitation to “sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and read the Good News” about the formula.
Combination: Winn-Dixie
The grocery chain used direct-mail pieces to launch its store brand of dairy foods and boost dairy sales by tapping 3-A-Day of Dairy health information and offering product coupons.
Cultured: Sinton Dairy
Sinton’s piece was designed to attract attention to a media day event to kick off the opening of its cultured product expansion project and stress the dairy’s 123-year history in its community. The box-shaped piece features various bits of information on each side along with features of the new facility.
Ice Cream: Wells’ Dairy
Wells Blue Bunny designed a direct-mail teaser to generate awareness of the company’s 2004 brand re-launch of its packaging and brand. The mop mailing, “A Brand So Hot It Will Melt Your Freezer,” was sent to 60 customers and has helped generate conversation regarding Blue Bunny products and assisted with sales efforts.
Milk: Organic Valley
This cooperative mailed out calendars with images reinforcing its core message: family farmers, independence and environmental stewardship. Reaction has been so favorable that interest has already been generated for next year’s calendar, and prints of calendar images will be sold online in 2004-05, with proceeds going to charity or other organic farming organizations.
Best Overall: Marigold Foods
To drive consumer interest and generate summer sales of Kemps ice cream, the company developed creative in-store elements, including a call-in “mooing contest,” to complement a major FSI event. A three-dimensional interactive POS sign features a cow with a motion sensor that mooed as customers walked through the frozen dairy section. Also part of the campaign were an offer for a squeezable mooing plush cow toy with POS tear pads and the mooing contest with a year’s supply of ice cream as the grand prize.
Cheese: Saputo Cheese USA
To promote Stella-brand cheeses during the holidays, Saputo’s POS presented the product as a partner under the theme, “Stella Makes Perfect Holiday Entertaining Easy.” A “take-one” pamphlet offered meal ideas, holiday menus, coupons and dozens of suggestions for using Stella cheeses.
Combination: Horizon Organic
To build brand awareness and drive sales at point of purchase, Horizon used coupon boxes to educate consumers about organics and offer an immediate trial incentive. Coupons offered 55 cents off any Horizon Organic product and offered information on the brand and the new USDA organic standards.
Milk: Shamrock Foods
To garner attention for its new chocolate malt single-serve milk flavor, Shamrock enlisted Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis “Gonzo” Gonzales as spokesman. Life-size cutouts of Gonzo promoted the new flavor — Gonzo’s favorite — and a contest giving away a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Best Overall: Sorrento Lactalis Inc.
Sorrento Shapesters offer moms a healthy snack alternative for their children. Each package contains convenient snack-size bags with four shapes each. Great for lunch boxes and on-the-go snacking, Shapesters were marketed with heavy television support, in-store demonstrations, coupons and other promotions. Sorrento Shapesters tied for the contest’s Best of Show honors.
Butter/Table Spread: Land O’Lakes
The company introduced convenient butter products that are soft and ready to use right from the refrigerator — the first of their kind in the category — with Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil and Soft Baking Butter with Canola Oil. The company used in-store advertising, FSIs, in-package coupons, strong Web site presence and in-store product demos. Coupons generated sales increases of up to 128 percent.
Cultured: Old Home Foods
Targeting on-the-go women and mothers, Old Home launched a new line of yogurt smoothies in five flavors. Through mixed-media promotion and couponing, the product holds the No. 1 market share in Minneapolis/St. Paul, with the average weekly unit sales goal exceeded by 10 percent.
Frozen Novelties: Marigold Foods
The company created Halloween-themed frozen novelties based on its Kemps Cookies ’n Scream packaged ice cream. An impulse-driven seasonal item using bold graphics for an eye-catching package, the product generated substantial incremental volume and revenue through national distribution as part of a successful seasonal promotion.
Ice Cream: Wells’ Dairy
Carrying the growing trend in better-for-you novelties to its packaged ice cream line, Wells’ launched Reduced Fat, No Sugar Added Bunny Tracks ice cream in round half gallons. This variety is now in the top four of 11 flavors in this product offering.
Milk: Organic Valley
The cooperative created a fresh, exciting and clear package design for its new line of single-serve fluid milk. Targeted at parents with young and school-age children, the single-serve rollout is Organic Valley’s more successful launch to date.
Best Overall: Schroeder Co.
The packaging for Hyper Cow — a caffeine-spiked dairy beverage made from 2% milk — was designed to embrace the irreverent sensibilities of its target market of on-the-go 15- to 25-year-olds. Each of the product’s three flavors features a different edgy character. Hyper Cow’s package design also tied for Best of Show honors.
Cheese: Kraft Foods Co.
Kraft launched a new promotional “restaurant-style” shaker package for its grated parmesan, aiming to boost sales with value-added packaging that allows consumers to bring the dining-out experience home. Results include increased sales, strong distribution and design recognition.
Cultured: Horizon Organic
Created to appeal to the target market of families with children, Horizon Organic kids’ yogurt packaging features colorful designs, nutritional information, games and coupons. The baby yogurt sports the image of a calf in a baby jumper, the yo-yo’s with a cow in jungle scenes and Yogurt Tubes a cow doing “cool” activities like mountain biking and snowboarding.
Other: Sinton Dairy
In response to customer requests, the company aimed to design a package allowing earlier entry into the eggnog market, a follow-up to an earlier Halloween-theme design. A Colorado mountain background, with colorful aspen trees, depicts Sinton’s home state in early fall.
Best Overall: Shamrock Foods Co.
To better compete against both dairy and non-dairy products, the company redesigned its 12- and 32-ounce half-and-half packaging to be more appealing to its target audience while suggesting usage ideas. A coffee cup visual reminds users of the product’s traditional purpose, employing spokescow Roxie to communicate the point of real, farm-fresh dairy. The result has been increased sales and new points of distribution with the line.
Cheese: Saputo Cheese USA
The aim of the Frigo Ricotta redesign was to raise the brand’s profile by communicating freshness, maintaining its traditional Italian colors and creating a more contemporary look. The new design revitalizes the product without losing its visual equity. Updated styling retains hints of the product’s heritage, while a strong system of color coding clearly differentiates between varieties. Packaging also includes a bolder treatment of “good source of calcium.”
Cultured: Land O’Lakes
The new packaging allows the company’s cottage cheese to stand apart from the competition in a crowded category by using new dry-offset printing to improve overall package quality. It also uses appetite appeal to position the product as a high-quality premium brand in a commodity category.
Ice Cream: HP Hood
The company’s new packaging for its Lactaid Scoopfuls Ice Cream updates the look and feel of the Lactaid franchise and appeals to a wide variety of consumers through the friendly “Scoopfuls” sub-brand name. It also reinforces superior quality, drives trial among non-users and creates unity among all Lactaid dairy products.
Best Overall: Tillamook County Creamery Association
To better reach a growing Hispanic consumer base, introduced its “International Language of Mmm” television spot. Targeting bicultural Latinas — bilingual Hispanic women born in the United States but who still identify with their heritage — the ad celebrates the fact that everyone understands when something tastes good, regardless of language or ethnic heritage. Since the spot began airing in Southern California last year, Tillamook sales there rose 11 percent, while brand awareness among Hispanics rose from 13 to 36 percent.
Best Overall: Meadow Gold Dairy Utah
The company enlisted the help of Miss Latina USA to demonstrate the best beauty secret is a healthy diet rich in the nine essential nutrients found in Meadow Gold milk. The campaign included public appearances at a company-sponsored festival, television guest spots, TV commercials and other ads. Meadow Gold was able to bring product awareness to both English- and Spanish-speaking consumers.
Other: Alquería Dairy
The objective was to position the dairy’s new Sorbete — a traditional Latin American fruit-juice drink prepared with milk — as the first and only such product offered in Colombia identical to the homemade version. The communication strategy comprised various pieces, including a national media campaign, an in-store demo program, product exhibits in store fruit sections and display trays.
Best Overall: Meadow Gold Dairy Hawaii
For Easter 2003, the company presented a fun, eye-catching ad showing flavored single-serve milk as being integral to the holiday. The ad shows a progressively eaten chocolate rabbit beneath the headline, “Bunny Chaser,” making the connection that the dairy’s strawberry milk is a fun way to celebrate the season.
Cheese: Kraft Foods Co.
The “Forget the Cheddar, Velveeta’s Better” national print campaign focused on dips and casseroles to highlight the product’s melting ability and lower fat. Market share and consumption have increased since the launch.
Cultured: Wells’ Dairy
This FSI promoting Blue Bunny’s Lite 85 yogurt — a fat-free product sweetened with sucralose — targeting consumers seeking a lower-fat product without compromising taste. The ad for the Vanilla Pear variety promoted “more pear taste” with “less pear shape.”
Ingredients: David Michael & Co.
The ad was a mid-2003 addition to the company’s ongoing “Sure, we can do that” campaign, stressing its skill with custom flavors. The objective was to keep the company’s name in front of clients, make them feel good about the company and convey the message that David Michael can create any flavor, no matter how off the wall. The company attributes to some degree its double-digit growth last year to the ad campaign.
Other: Shamrock Foods Co.
This FSI was intended to highlight the packaging of Shamrock’s seasonal eggnog and ice cream flavors, and showcase the variety of dairy products offered, also including sour cream and whipping cream. The ad showed a bucket of ice-cold Shamrock products delivered by a cow under the headline, “Holiday gifts, fresh from the farm.” It also plugged a free cookbook offer.
Packaging: Blue Ridge Paper Products
The company’s strategy was to create demand for an extension to its line of gable-top milk cartons in part through ads in national trade magazines and online. Timing the campaign to a package introduction at the 2003 Worldwide Food Expo, Blue Ridge surpassed its goal for show leads and is pursuing international and domestic inquiries.
Sanitation and Maintenance: Ecolab Inc.
Goals were to show how the company plays a role as a member of plant processes beyond products and services, and continue support of its premium products. The ad showed an Ecolab representative with employees of a plant that had experienced an increase in capacity after using cleaning programs suggested by the account manager. The result was significant sales growth for the rest of 2003.
Service: Big-D Corp.
The primary objective was to support ongoing, long-term branding efforts and capture and maintain top-of-mind awareness among food and dairy facility owners and engineers. While the ad’s full impact could not be determined, the company’s long-term branding strategy has led to an increase in information requests and other inquiries.
Best Overall: Smith Dairy
The “What’s Your Ruggles Say About You?” campaign is based on a call-in radio show, with the announcer analyzing the caller based on his or her favorite Ruggles ice cream flavor. The goal was to reinforce the scope of the Ruggles flavor lineup using humor. The result was an increase in brand market share in the advertising area.
Cheese: Tillamook County Creamery Association
“You Call That a Horse?” is an extension of the ongoing Swiss Knights “Cheese Worth Stealing” marketing effort, using humor to hail the company’s tradition of artisan cheesemaking. The 2-minute ad was a strategy to break through the expected formula of 60-second spots. Results include increased sales and numerous e-mails of praise from consumers.
Cultured: Anderson Erickson Dairy
The objective was to grab the attention of women age 25 to 54 by highlighting the great health benefits to women found in AE’s Fat Free Yogurt with Soy Protein. The company took a “women only” approach to stress the female health issues.
Milk: Shamrock Foods Inc.
This radio spot was designed to promote Shamrock’s new chocolate malt single-serve milk flavor, featuring the product’s spokesman, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis “Gonzo” Gonzales. Targeting men age 18 to 34, the ad has more than doubled sales goals for the new flavor and the entire beverage milk line.
Best Overall: Sorrento Lactalis
To promote Sorrento Shapesters, the company created a spot targeting mothers of children age 4 to 10. The ad stresses the healthfulness of the cheese snack, the appeal of their fun shapes to kids and the convenience of snack-size pouches. The spot also promotes two new SKUs for the Shapester line — a sea theme featuring cheese shaped like angelfish and sharks, and a space theme with stars and moons.
Cultured: Old Home Foods
To introduce Old Home Yogurt Smoothies, the company launched a spot targeting busy moms age 25 to 34. Goals were to reinforce and build brand awareness, trust, freshness and convenience, among other brand qualities. Results included high market share, increased sales and enhanced brand image.
Ice Cream: Wells’ Dairy
This spot is a fun way to encourage parents of children age 4 to 10 to try Blue Bunny’s new line of Disney-themed frozen dessert products, including Buzz Lightyear, Lion King and Little Mermaid. The objective was to get kids to ask mom or dad for Blue Bunny’s Disney Ice Cream by name.
Milk: Guida-Seibert Dairy Co.
Guida’s Milk & Ice Cream converted its 16-ounce chocolate and whole milk pints to a full line of new flavors in a 12-ounce single serve. A slow start was combated by a new commercial appealing to 16- to 25-year-olds. The targeted commercials yielded a 3 percent lift in total volume in the last quarter of
running the spots.
Best Overall: Saputo Cheese USA
Successful cross-promotion of the Frigo Cheese Head Web site and the “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” movie featured a custom micro-site with product information; screen savers, movie stills and character interviews; and a Looney Tunes maze game. The Web site targeted 6- to 12-year-olds. In the one-month promotional period, received more than 5 million hits — the most ever — surpassing the previous promotion’s 4.8 million hits.
Combination: Wells’ Dairy
The “iScream Team” was created as a members-only demographic site with a monthly e-mail newsletter full of exclusive coupons and special offers, new flavor previews and recipe and party ideas. More than 100,000 names were segmented into five categories for individual marketing. Last year, the iScream Team registered 271,233 members into its database and saw more than 140,000 site users enter sweepstakes promotions. The Web site,, generated an average of 7,200 daily visitors.
Packaging: International Paper
The company developed an online customer order tracking and inventory system for packaging and SPOUT-PAK pouring spouts as part of its IP Beverage Packaging Web site. It included information on order history and detailed shipment tracking screens, plus downloadable data to Excel spreadsheets to improve planning.
Best Overall: Sargento Foods
After market research revealed many Wisconsin residents were unaware that Sargento was a homegrown company, the cheese maker began a long-term partnership with Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers NFL football team. Leveraging itself as a Wisconsin staple with a long history in the state — just like the team — Sargento secured category-exclusive rights to the Lambeau Field logo for promotional purposes and to help drive sales of shredded, sliced and snack cheese products. Sargento-branded products are now known as the Official Cheese of Lambeau Field.
Butter/Table Spread: Meadow Gold Dairy Utah
The Meadow Gold Butter Cow is the focal point at the Utah State Fair, and each year Meadow Gold Dairy teams up with Dairy Farmers of Utah to showcase the unique creation. Media coverage of the famous butter cow is widespread on opening day, and last year the theme “How Now Butter Cow” kicked off with a full-page ad in the inside front cover of the Utah State Fair Program, 10-foot banners at the fair entrance and mentions in all public relations materials.
Ice Cream: Marigold Foods
A year-long event featured four ice cream flavors tied to popular vacation spots — Moon Over Maui, Cancun Caramel, Great Wall of Chocolate and London Truffle. Packaging included a coupon for $20 off the cost of a trip with Northwest Airlines World Vacations. Consumers also could create their own ice cream flavor that evoked their dream vacation destination in an Around the World Dream Vacation Contest, with a grand prize family trip to Hawaii. Promotional support included FSIs with coupons and contest entry form, billboards and in-store point-of-sale materials.
Milk: Schepps Dairy
With its flying cow Airabelle, Schepps Dairy was the presenting sponsor of The Ballunar Festival’s balloon extravaganza in August in Dallas and Houston. Promotion included billboards, posters, side-panel advertising on half gallons and half pints and four pre-show balloon launches to spark public interest. The dairy also was title sponsor of the fireworks show in Dallas, and newspaper ads promoted the show and featured coupons for Schepps products.
Other: Shamrock Foods
Building on its sponsorship of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the company created the Shamrock Farms Farm Team, in which consumers registered online for team-related prizes. All prizes also included a year’s supply of Shamrock Farms products. Monthly e-mails served as reminders for monthly prize registration and included updates on Shamrock Farms products and a link to online coupons. Supporting promotion included radio spots during games, D-Back magazine ads and dedicated Web site pages.
Packaging: International Paper
The Scholastic School Milk Side Panel Program encouraged students and teachers that reading is fun and highlighted milk consumption. The Web site,, gave teachers ideas for classroom activities and lesson plans and offered monthly contests of Scholastic books valued at $250. Cartons featured 12 different designs.
Best Overall: Gandy’s Dairy
Positioning Gandy’s as a must-have premium ice cream brand, the dairy’s integrated campaign incorporated TV, radio, print and promotions for its new “It’s That Good” tagline. Community events centered around the key demographics of mothers and children and was also targeted to Spanish-speaking audiences.
Best Overall: Kraft Foods
Kraft Singles’ Double the Calcium initiative featured new consumer-motivating news to differentiate the brand from the competition. Kraft leveraged its established calcium message, strong nutritional aspect and taste with kids and developed successful TV and print advertising. The launch achieved highest consumer-testing scores in the business history.
Cultured: Kraft Foods
New TV and print campaign repositioned Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese, Tubs and Cottage Doubles as smart snack alternatives to yogurt with compelling “half the sugar of yogurt” message. After consistent monthly declines, total Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese began posting gains with the new campaign launch.
Milk: Shamrock Foods
To launch the new Chocolate Malt mmmmilk single-serve flavored milk, the company built on its existing platform of celebrity endorser Luis Gonzalez, the Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder, with a “Take Me Back to the Ballgame” contest. Top prize was a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Radio spots, a mobile billboard on a dairy truck, print ads in D-Back magazine, posters and outdoor boards near convenience stores, Web site information with e-greetings and life-size images of Gonzalez near the dairy case were developed for the campaign. Sales goals more than doubled entire beverage milk line.
Best Overall: Mayfield Dairy Farms
Public service dairy nutrition program “What Women Want” set out to educate women on the benefits of drinking fat-free and lowfat milk, including Mayfield NuTrish 1%, as an essential part of every woman’s diet. Mayfield targeted women’s groups and events with educational presentations followed by a milk-and-healthy-snacks party. Handouts included copies of articles and research, a milk recipe booklet and free half-gallon milk coupons. Primary messages discussed calcium benefits, weight control and NuTrish 1% consumption for better digestion.
Cheese: Sargento Foods
Through its partnership with the Green Bay Packers as the Official Cheese of Lambeau Field, Sargento created the “Touchdowns for Charity Program” that donated $1,000 to a Milwaukee-area food bank for every Packers touchdown made throughout the year.
Ice Cream: Smith Dairy
Samples of premium ice cream were distributed during the Ruggles by Smith’s Road Tour, covering 8,708 miles in central and northeast Ohio. Six college interns handed out 16,000 servings of ice cream at community and charity events.
Industry/Business Services: Schepps Dairy
After fire swept through its blow-molding facility and caused $10 million in damage, Schepps not only rebuilt but publicly thanked employees for their rebuilding efforts and the Dallas Fire Department for its quick response. The building’s grand re-opening featured a press conference, ribbon-cutting ceremony and $10,000 donation to the Friends of the Fire Department.
Other: Horizon Organic Dairy
In launching its FDA-approved organic infant formula, the company enlisted a Denver-area pediatrician to speak to the growing popularity of organic products for children. Using a credible spokesman helped publicity attempts to not come across as pure product endorsements.
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