The Right Place
James Dudlicek
Editor
(847) 405-4009

It’s nice enough that the folks at Sesame Street Live! are promoting milk as a healthy beverage, but the sampling in the lobby was a nice surprise.
My wife and I recently took our daughter (who turns 3 this month) to see the latest installment of the ongoing Muppet roadshow at a theater in the Chicago suburbs. A good time was had by all, as they say (although the sea of Elmo balloons floating overhead was rather eerie, like something out of Hitchcock).
You may recall the minor dust-up about two years ago when Sesame Street’s creators put Cookie Monster on a diet, forcing him to trade in his “sometimes food” cookies for fruits and vegetables. Well, Cookie is still enjoying his namesake, in some degree of moderation, and the show’s healthy halo has extended to milk, which was mentioned prominently in a nutrition-themed sketch.
On our way out after the show, we spied a character meet-and-greet but couldn’t figure out which denizen of Sesame Street it was. As we got closer, I realized that it was a ProBug, mascot of the new product of the same name from Lifeway, the rapidly growing Chicago-area kefir manufacturer. So Mom snapped a photo of our tot with the fuzzy creature while Dad grabbed some product samples, being handed out nearby along with some literature on the goodness of probiotics.
What a fantastic way to tap into this demographic. No wonder cultured products are growing so rapidly, with kid-friendly formats making them a mainstay of youngsters’ diets. Not so for my wife and me, way back when (I didn’t start eating yogurt until I was in my 20s).
Read more about the amazing growth in this segment, starting on page 26.
Well, it finally happened. Americans are drinking more bottled water than milk.
Per capita consumption of bottled water nearly doubled between 1996 and 2006, to 21 gallons, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. During that same decade, milk consumption dropped 14 percent, to 19.5 gallons.
But is that really a surprise? I mean, bottled water is cheap to buy, cheap to make and you can easily add practically any kind of flavor or fortification to it. Heck, most of you fluid milk processors are running water on your lines, too. It’s a great profit center.
But none of this helps our cause, does it? Milk once again falls victim to margins and marketing.
Can dairy reclaim that lost ground? Perhaps the participants of our marketing roundtable on page 32 have the answers.