National retail and food service efforts by the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) stretch dairy farmer’s investment through the checkoff. The DFW Channel Programs team drives distribution and sales growth for Wisconsin-made cheese and dairy with grocery stores and restaurants across the country.

One of DFW’s ongoing, primary efforts is to work with processors to clearly identify their products as being from Wisconsin. The recently redesigned “Proudly Wisconsin” badges represent just one of our many creative changes in the past two years. The badges proclaim the words “Proudly Wisconsin Cheese” and “Proudly Wisconsin Dairy.”

By identifying products with an easily identifiable logo and a strong Wisconsin message, we enable consumers to readily find and purchase great Wisconsin dairy products, and the more cheese sold, the greater the demand and use of our farmers’ milk.

Processors are currently placing the “Proudly Wisconsin Cheese” or “Proudly Wisconsin Dairy” badge on more than 200 different brands. This symbol embodies everything America’s Dairyland is known for: quality, tradition, passion, innovation, and award-winning products.

Carrying the badge is important because 90% of the milk produced in Wisconsin goes into cheesemaking and 90% of that cheese is sold outside of Wisconsin. We work hard to make sure consumers across the nation know where their cheese is coming from.

A nationwide brand
A whopping 98% of U.S. grocers sell Wisconsin cheese, and Wisconsin cheese is an integral part of restaurant menu items across the U.S. The DFW Channel Management team partners with processors to include the badge on products and with grocers and restaurant chains to promote Wisconsin products and drive sales with consumers.

For example, we assist with co-op advertising and promotions to help get Wisconsin-labeled products in front of consumers. We help with promotions like retail demos because research shows a consumer is nine times more likely to buy a product if they can sample it first.

Product branding works! Wisconsin specialty cheese accounts for over 45% of the country’s specialty cheese sales, and over the past five years total Wisconsin-identified cheese has increased retail sales 4.4% compared to 1.4% for cheese made elsewhere.

Our state and national efforts are part of DFW’s continuing commitment to drive distribution and sales growth for Wisconsin-made cheese, increasing awareness and usage of total cheese, which in turn drives demand for our farmers’ milk.

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for the farmer newsletter at WisconsinDairy.org.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2020
June 15, 2020
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