Grocery retailers have been adept at offering promotions, but not solutions. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy worked with retailers in test markets on “solution centers.” Rebecca MacKay, the vice president for strategy, insights and planning, told me the Innovation Center developed a “Breakfast Zone” concept that gave shoppers new ideas for the morning meal.

For example, there was a recipe for smoothies using fruit and yogurt and a recipe for pita pocket sandwich stuffed with eggs and cheese. To continue this idea after the test, the Innovation Center recommends retailers install a dedicated endcap in the dairy department and rotate products and recipe cards every month.

A similar zone promoted dairy foods for snacking. These were stocked with single-serve milks, protein drinks and yogurt parfaits. Dinner zones offered recipes for meals that are simple to prepare and other, more-challenging recipes for accomplished cooks.

These tests, conducted in California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, boosted sales of dairy and related foods with neither promotional pricing nor outside advertising. Read more about these marketing programs at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s website: Then work with your retailers to implement these ideas for the long term.   n


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