Nov. 15 2021 11:28 AM

General Mills and the dairy checkoff turned to social media to celebrate World School Milk Day.

An all-time breakfast combo classic – cereal and milk – was the focus of a social media campaign by the dairy checkoff and General Mills to celebrate World School Milk Day on September 29.

General Mills teamed up with National Dairy Council (NDC) and state and regional checkoff teams around the country for a celebration of the nutrition that a bowl of milk and cereal deliver. Students, as well as school food service directors and cafeteria staff, were encouraged to post photos of their breakfast experience to their social media channels using #CerealMilk21. Here are examples shared at InstagramFacebook.

The effort was offered nationwide to schools from kindergarten through high school. General Mills and NDC provided materials, including online versions, to help with the campaign. More than 1,500 kits were shipped to schools that included:

• Posters, promotional materials, and fun activity sheets

• A TikTok dance duet video and Snapchat filter

•“Team Cereal Milk” activities and posters

General Mills has conducted World School Milk Day celebrations the last two years, but this is the first time there was engagement with the dairy checkoff, which brought more reach through its nationwide network and school relationships.

NDC and General Mills conducted work ahead of September 29 to bring awareness to the celebration and to reinforce its nutrition aspect. General Mills hosted a webinar titled, “The Power of Dairy and Whole Grains: Gear Up to Celebrate World School Milk Day,” in July and August for school food service professionals. The webinar included a presentation from NDC dietitian Katie Bambacht reinforcing dairy’s nutritional benefits and the critical role of school meals in helping students reach their recommended three servings of dairy every day.

Joining Bambacht was Monica Coulter, who serves as corporate chef for General Mills, and Caroline Sluyter, program director for Oldways Whole Grains Council.

The combination of NDC and General Mills was a hit as more than 450 school foodservice representatives participated. Coupled with strong social media participation, the collaboration was a success, said Lisa Hatch. Hatch serves as vice president of school channel sales and business development for Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff.

“Considering how busy food service professionals are, we are very pleased with the results,” Hatch said. “It’s not easy to get a captive audience with this many key school leaders, but the credibility of National Dairy Council working with a well-known and trusted brand such as General Mills obviously had a lot of appeal.

“The social media aspect was a lot of fun for students, and it was great to see them experiencing the great taste and nutrition that every bowl of milk and cereal provide,” she added.

To learn more about your national and local dairy checkoffs, visit visit or send a request to join our Dairy Checkoff Facebook group.

Don Schindler

The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.