June 24 2016 07:04 AM

Promote the food side of dairy.

dairy display

There are farm tours, public events featuring baby calves, and more opportunities to celebrate June Dairy Month by featuring your favorite cow. But what can dairy enthusiasts who don't have access to cattle or a good location do to promote dairy?

One option is to showcase the consumer side of dairy. Picture a dairy producer (or allied industry representative) in the grocery store dairy section offering cheese squares to consumers. While most have tried Cheddar, maybe offer a Pepper Jack, Brick, or Muenster. It could expose a consumer to a new palate pleaser, with the ultimate goal a purchase of a new variety of cheese and demand growth.

This same type of sampling could be done for Greek yogurt, lactose-free milk, or kefir. With some consumers turning to soy or nut drinks to avoid the ill effects of lactose intolerance, lactose-free milk is still milk - just without the sugar. Exposing moms of lactose-intolerant children or the consumer themselves to dairy options, we could bring consumers back to the dairy case.

Other nonanimal promotions could include displaying educational dairy posters at grocery stores, banks, dentist offices, schools, or other locations consumers frequent. State and regional milk marketing boards often have these materials available. Changing the content every month or seasonally would keep dairy information fresh and in front of consumers.

Promotions require advanced planning and a good relationship with the manager of the location. But, if you never ask, the answer is always "no."

These types of activities don't always have to be in June. It might be Dairy Month, but we eat everyday. Why not keep dairy in front of consumers year-round?

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The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.