July 29 2013 02:35 PM

DMI logoA periodic report for dairy media demonstrating how Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) and affiliated state and regional promotion organizations work to increase demand for and sales of dairy products and ingredients through the programs of the American Dairy Association® and National Dairy Council®. DMI also has established affiliate organizations, including the U.S. Dairy Export Council®, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® and the Dairy Research Institute®. For more information about these and other dairy checkoff programs, please contact Jennifer Wing at (847) 627-3225 or jennifer.wing@rosedmi.com.

Checkoff Efforts Lead to New Dairy-Friendly Taco Bell Quesadilla
Taco Bell, the largest Mexican quick-service restaurant chain in the United States, has launched the first of several dairy-friendly menu items thanks to support from the dairy checkoff.

The Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla, featuring real pepper jack cheese, is the brand's first offering of the Cantina Bell "chef inspired" menu to feature cheese and sour cream for dipping. The dairy checkoff and Taco Bell formed a partnership in 2012 that includes a dairy scientist, employed by the dairy checkoff, working at Taco Bell's headquarters to grow dairy sales by helping develop entrees, desserts, beverages and breakfast items that feature dairy as a key ingredient.

"Taco Bell and the checkoff share a common goal – to grow sales through innovation," said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc.™, which manages the national dairy checkoff. "The Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla is a great example of how we can combine our resources to provide consumers with great-tasting menu options that feature dairy."

The Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla launched in late June and is available nationwide for a limited time.

A McDonald's commercial promoting Despicable Me 2 Happy Meals and milk features the Minions – the computer-animated movie's popular characters – blowing milk bubbles.

Checkoff Supports McDonald's ‘Despicable Me 2' Milk Promotion
The dairy checkoff worked with McDonald's on the positioning of milk for in-store materials and commercials that promote Despicable Me 2, one of the summer's top grossing movies.

McDonald's features Despicable Me 2 promotions on its Happy Meal boxes and milk bottles and created signs that feature the tagline: "Squeeze all the goodness of milk and apples into your meal!"

Additionally, there is a McDonald's commercial featuring the Minions – the computer-animated movie's popular characters – blowing milk bubbles and a downloadable milk bubbles computer app for children.

The dairy checkoff's partnership with McDonald's has helped create "dairy destinations" for the more than 27 million customers who visit its restaurants every day.

"The dairy checkoff's partnership with McDonald's is allowing our products to be front and center in its Despicable Me 2 promotion," said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc.™, which manages the national dairy checkoff. "This helps us reach consumers with creative, fun and healthy messages about the benefits of consuming milk."

The chain's Despicable Me 2 promotion began July 3 and concludes Aug. 1.

Checkoff-Funded Study Reaffirms Whey's Role in Developing Muscle
A study sponsored by the dairy producer-created Dairy Research Institute (DRI) concludes that whey protein is more effective than soy protein in developing lean muscle.

The study is one of several that help identify the connection between dairy proteins and lean muscle mass. Research findings support the value of resistance training and whey protein supplements to build lean muscle in young men and women. Whey protein is a high-quality dairy protein that plays a significant role in muscle maintenance and repair.

The study's results were presented at the recent American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting.

DRI is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® and was created to strengthen the dairy industry's access to and investment in the technical research required to drive innovation and demand for dairy products and ingredients.

Agriculture Financial Leader Issues Fluid Milk Report
CoBank, a national cooperative bank that is a member of the Farm Credit System, published a report – "Beyond the Gallon Jug: How Can Innovation Change the Path of Fluid Milk?" – that highlights the dairy checkoff's work to turn around the decades-long decline in fluid milk sales.

The report largely reinforced and built upon checkoff learnings gleaned from extensive conversations with the U.S. fluid milk industry over the last 18 months, including:

  • Per capita fluid milk consumption has been in long-term decline for a myriad of reasons, including competition from other beverages, changing demographics, price volatility and a lack of innovation and investment.
  • While the gallon jug is easily recognized and has been a successful and effective way of distributing milk to the masses, its role and contents don't fully align with today's consumer needs.
  • Multiple industry efforts are underway to build on milk's traditional, inherent and emerging strengths to more frequently become "the" beverage of choice for consumers.

The full report is available here.
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