American Dairy Association North East has helped retail stores stock more than 96,000 dairy products in more than 700 stores since the COVID-19 quarantine began in mid-March, while also executing several other existing programs.
“Our retail team immediately shifted some of its traditional work to assist our retail partners in keeping milk and other dairy products on the shelves as soon as the pandemic hit,” said ADA North East CEO Rick Naczi. “Although the initial panic-buying has eased, consumers are still preparing most meals at home, so demand is still great for dairy – which is a good thing – and we’re glad to help keep those products readily available.”
Typically, ADA North East’s retail program conducts an average of 6,000 store visits to more than 1,400 stores each year to assess dairy case hygiene and other conditions, offering suggestions for improvement.
Another ADA North East retail program is the Dairy Aisle Reinvention (DAR) program that incorporates merchandising techniques such as customized signage to highlight the real dairy in the dairy case; provides nutrition information and product use ideas; and features dairy farm families in farm-to-table signage. Retailers report significant sales growth after program implementation.
New DAR installments have been made during the quarantine to keep the dairy cases “shopper-friendly” even during these challenging times. New signage on each dairy case helps shoppers more easily identify where specific products are located for more efficient shopping.
Since the COVID-19 situation began, DAR installments have been made in 14 Weis Markets and five Shop ‘n Save stores. Additionally, 41 stores have been measured and/or have signage printed and ready for installment when restrictions are lifted. Stores include Acme, Key Foods, Karns, Foodtown, Redners, ShopRite and Fresh Grocer.
In Pennsylvania, Choose PA Dairy signage has been placed in 59 new stores to highlight local Pennsylvania dairy farm families to help consumers connect with who is producing their food. To-date, 208 stores feature the Choose PA Dairy signage.
ADA North East has received more than 430 concerns from dairy farmers related to purchasing limits, variety and selection of products, and cleanliness issues. The retail team has responded to and addressed the issues with specific retailers as presented.
One specific concern relates to limited product availability in dollar stores, which farmers are likely to visit because of their convenience and rural locations. Research shows that 78 percent of households purchase milk in regular grocery stores which totals $6 billion compared to $68 million in dairy sales in dollar stores – or 90 times the amount of sales.
For more information about ADA North East’s retail program, call 315.472.9143.
About American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing more than 10,000 dairy farm families in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, ADA North East develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit www.AmericanDairy.com, or call 315.472.9143.