Why select milk-based proteins versus plant-based proteins? What is in the minds of today’s consumers and how could the dairy ingredients industry positively influence their purchasing decisions? What are the most impactful messages about dairy proteins the industry could communicate, and how could it reach consumers?

Those are some of the key questions and major findings a panel will discuss on Tuesday, May 7, the Elmhurst, Ill.-based American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) said, during the 2019 ADPI/ABI Annual Conference. The event will be held May 5-May 7 at the Marriott Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

In 2018, industry leaders took a proactive step as a response to the rise of alternative proteins and created the Dairy Protein Messaging Initiative (DPMI), managed by ADPI. The goal of the initiative is to reposition dairy proteins for sustained growth, as well as dispel myths and misconceptions, ADPI said.

With the assistance of the Padilla FoodMinds agency and through secondary and primary consumer research, the group analyzed consumption drivers and identified fact-based messages that will positively influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. About to be launched, the messaging initiative is supported by more than 50 domestic and international organizations, associations and ADPI’s membership. There remain many and varied opportunities to join and support the DPMI, the association said.

In the conference presentation and ensuing panel discussion, Grant Prentice and Jason Stemm (presenters, Padilla FoodMinds) and panelists consisting of co-sponsors of the DPMI (Rudy Dieperink of FrieslandCampina Ingredients, Anand Rao of Agropur and Terry Brockman of Saputo) will discuss why consumers use protein-enriched products. Further discussion will address how they perceive different milk-based proteins and which messages research has shown influence their emotions, perceptions and choices. They will also provide their perspectives as to what impact the campaign is expected to have and why they support it.

It is estimated that dairy ingredients represent 35% of dairy solids utilization in the United States, and this segment is critical to the “health” of the entire dairy sector, ADPI said. When more than 68% of American consumers are seeking more protein in their diet, and the protein market is growing, the relative share for dairy has decreased from approximately 85-90% to less than 60% in recent years.

Alternative proteins including almond, pea, rice and multiple new protein ingredient entrants are competing in the marketplace and communicating aggressively. Massive investments in production and processing of alternative proteins indicate this is not a fad, but a domestic and international trend, ADPI said.

In comparison, the dairy ingredient industry has not communicated very proactively the many positive attributes of its products relative to nutrition, health and wellbeing in a way that resonates with today’s consumers. The DPMI seeks to fill this gap and influence today’s consumer through the most effective and fact-based digital communications methodologies. 

In conjunction with its Annual Conference, ADPI has included an inaugural 5K DPMI “Fun/Run-Walk” event along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront on Sunday, May 5, preceding the opening of the conference for registered attendees. All proceeds from the event will benefit the DPMI. The walk/run is sponsored by Idaho Milk Products, Glanbia Ingredients, Land O’Lakes and Valley Milk LLC. Goodie bags will be provided courtesy of Arla Ingredients and Agropur.

For more information about the conference, visit https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?id=5577