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Checkoff Watch: Partners continue to deliver milk sales for U.S. dairy farmers

Published on 04 November 2016

The dairy checkoff’s strategy of working with partners to move more dairy is paying off as the country’s leading food service companies, processors and retailers invest in initiatives that find more homes for milk.

We have built strong relationships with McDonald’s, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, fairlife, Shamrock, DFA and others who see the value of making the changes necessary to attract more consumers to products that emphasize dairy. That’s making a difference for dairy farm families.

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For instance, McDonald’s – following its switch from margarine to butter (thanks in great part to checkoff-led research on dairy fats) – began offering all-day breakfast featuring lots of dairy-friendly products. The switch means 500 to 600 million additional pounds of milk equivalent each year, and breakfast now accounts for 47 percent of total food sales at McDonald’s.

Even better is that McDonald’s is “tripling down” on all-day breakfast, and other chains such as Golden Corral and White Castle are extending and promoting breakfast, which means more dairy at no additional cost to farmers.

In the world of pizza, Domino’s moved more than 230 million additional pounds of milk in 2015 than it did in 2014. Since the checkoff started working with Domino’s, it has increased its overall cheese use by 43 percent. More good news: Its “me-too” competitors are now using more cheese.

Fluid milk partners bringing results

Our fluid milk partners are making great strides in a category that has long needed a shot in the arm in terms of investment in innovation. The checkoff’s partnership with fairlife, which itself is a joint venture of Select Milk Producers and Coca-Cola, has seen sales of about 150 million pounds of milk in the first year – which catches the attention of other processors.

Throughout the fluid milk category, processors are investing more than $500 million in innovation and infrastructure improvements, which will mean more sales.

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Importantly, our partners also are telling the dairy farmer story to consumers who increasingly make their food choices based on how they feel about the people and companies that make and sell that food.

Domino’s has initiatives that connect customers with the dairy farmers who supply their cheese and milk. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have used checkoff employees at their headquarters to educate their staff about dairy farming.

Partnerships are doing what we had hoped: They are moving more dairy to the benefit of farmers, the partners and consumers. A win-win-win.  end mark

Your Dairy Checkoff in Action – The following update is provided by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program on behalf of America’s dairy producers and dairy importers. DMI is the domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for dairy products and ingredients.

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