In 2013, MilkPEP will build upon the momentum created in 2012 with the introduction of our multiyear marketing strategy centered around two prime occasions for milk consumption: breakfast at home and post-workout recovery for athletes. The continuation of our long-term occasion-based approach will generate excitement for milk, drive volume and value, and maximize continuity, with the ultimate goal of changing consumer behavior.

To kick off our 2013 Breakfast-at-Home program, we’re using the biggest game of the year — the Super Bowl — as a platform to deliver the breakfast at home with milk message.  Designed to leverage the NFL play-offs time period, and the excitement around Super Bowl XLVII, the Breakfast Blitz program offers both processors and retailers a unique opportunity to market milk during the very lucrative Super Bowl time frame.  Historically, milk is not marketed as a Super Bowl beverage, but as the second most-consumed beverage on Super Bowl Sunday, milk offers retailers a great opportunity to bring spill over dollars from the rest of the store to the dairy aisle.

To help bring excitement and dollars to the dairy aisle, MilkPEP will launch a national promotion to drive incremental sales.  The promotion will run Jan. 8 to Feb. 17, 2013, and will feature football-themed milk mustache print ads, promotional tags on MilkPEP TV ads, in-store point-of-sale materials (including News America Shelftalks and Box Top Media) and a national consumer promotion.  Consumers will be asked to enter UPC codes online from any milk product for a chance to win great prizes, including a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.  The more UPCs entered, the better the prizes. Plus, every UPC code entered supports local schools through “Fuel Up to Play 60.” The 250 schools with the highest participation will receive $1,000 grants to help provide breakfast to local schools.  It’s a great opportunity to rally local communities to make milk part of their morning routine to win for themselves and win for their schools.

MilkPEP will continue “breakfast with milk” sales-driving initiatives through:

• Featuring new Milk Mustache ads throughout the year, and targeted public relations about the importance of a breakfast routine that includes milk

• Supporting breakfast programs that speak directly to our valued Hispanic audience, including integrated media, bilingual POS, and first-time national Spanish-language television ads that extends the message far beyond the 27 markets previously covered

• Continuing year two of our successful Kellogg’s partnership, Q1 through National Breakfast Week, March 4-8. Kellogg’s will donate breakfast to a child in need with every coupon redemption or Facebook post; feature side-panel messaging on 50 million cereal boxes about the importance of milk and breakfast; distribute approximately seven million coupon booklets in specially marked packages which include a coupon for $2 off the purchase of 2 gallons of milk and any two Kellogg’s cereals; and co-sponsor a national milk mustache print ad with MilkPEP.


Driving demand for chocolate milk

While awareness of chocolate milk’s recovery benefits is on the rise, we still have a lot of opportunity to drive demand for chocolate milk.  Of key importance is to educate athletes about what their bodies need post-exercise and to specifically reinforce why chocolate milk is so beneficial.  In 2013, we will continue to educate athletes and leverage their biggest influencers — other athletes —to help us do so. 

The cornerstone of our 2013 initiatives will be “Become One,” an integrated program that follows the journey of retired Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward and two everyday athletes on the quest to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii — the toughest and highest-profile endurance race on the planet.

Throughout the season, the athletes will work with some of the world’s best coaches and endurance athletes to spotlight the importance of recovery and the benefits of refueling with chocolate milk and inspire others to reach for their own goals, in whichever sport or athletic pursuit they undertake. We’ll showcase their journey through the media, including a syndicated series of online reality-style “webisodes.”

Hines Ward will spread credibility and leverage his star power and fan base to help communicate the benefits of chocolate milk as a recovery drink to a broad audience via traditional and social media. 

In addition to our exciting “Become One” program, throughout 2013, Refuel | got chocolate milk? will:

• Continue the “My After” campaign to tell our story to a broader audience of athletes

• Engage with athletes across the country at Refuel National Tour stops like Ironman and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events

• Incentivize consumers to switch their recovery beverage with a competitive retail Catalina Coupons program in Q3

• Position chocolate milk as the Official Refuel Beverage of a powerhouse of partners: Ironman, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, USA Swimming, Lifetime Fitness Cycle Club, and Challenged Athletes Foundation

• Recruit and mobilize “Refuel Ambassadors” to help convey the recovery benefits of chocolate milk to fellow athletes as part of “Team Refuel”

There are a number of ways that processors can help support the Refuel message in 2013.  MilkPEP will continue to host fully supported Refuel events at premier races across the country, and also give your brand the opportunity to host your own events.  Go to for the event schedule and sign up through Jan. 4, 2013.  Additionally, MilkPEP is again offering our feature incentive programs:  Refuel with Chocolate Milk, May 19 to June 30, and Chocolate Milk: The Official Drink of Halloween, featuring the iconic Peanuts characters, Sept. 15 to Oct. 31. Last year’s Refuel program participants saw chocolate milk sales jump by up to 16%. And our Halloween feature incentive program generated incremental sales for the 8th year in a row.


Resources for milk processors

Make the most of our two occasion-based marketing strategies in 2013.  Grow milk sales by using the materials, research and ideas available at  Develop and execute your own branded Breakfast at Home and Refuel programs and help your retailers do the same.  Participate in our national tent events or host your own.  Ride the momentum of MilkPEP’s integrated consumer campaigns all year long by latching on to the promotional support we create in-store and online. Access our social media activities on Facebook, Twitter and and take advantage of our up-to-the-minute, milk-friendly content for your website, homepage, tweets and other social media channels at or call 1-800-945-MILK.

Visit to order and download year-round local marketing toolkits and artwork, partner logos and step-by-step guides as well as information on our national display contest. MilkPEP is your dollars at work. You own it, now use it.

By Julie Buric, vice president of marketing for the Milk Processor Education Program, Washington, D.C.

This article was modified on Dec. 12, 2012. The original version contained information that was not ready to be released publicly.