June 18 2024 11:30 AM

We can connect with health-conscious consumers where they are doing their grocery shopping.

Today’s consumers are making purchasing decisions based on things like convenience, personalization, price, social media influence, sustainability, and most importantly, nutrition.

To tap into consumer demand for health information about their food choices, American Dairy Association North East’s two on-staff registered dietitians (RDs) are joining forces with retail dietitians to reach larger audiences with the good nutrition news of dairy. The doors were easily opened for these collaborations thanks to our strong retail program that has cultivated long-standing relationships.

“These types of endorsements from retail health professionals go a long way in building consumer trust in dairy,” said ADA North East CEO John Chrisman. “We’re fortunate, thanks to our long-term partnerships with retailers, to be able to use this important resource to help boost dairy sales.”

Most of the consumers seeking information from retail RDs are health-conscious shoppers who want healthy, nutritious, and convenient meal ideas and recipes to share with their families. With dairy’s powerful nutrition package based on sound science, RDs don’t hesitate to recommend what we have to offer.

“As a registered dietitian and a mom, I know how important it is to get nutrition information from credible sources, and that’s why our work with retail dietitians is key,” said ADA North East RD Michelle Barber. “These dietitians can reach consumers when they are making buying decisions, and we want to secure a place for dairy products in their grocery carts.

“Retail RDs amplify our messaging and reach an exponential number of consumers, beyond those we can reach directly, to help drive dairy sales,” she continued.

New this year, we launched a quarterly digital newsletter to share with nine retailers and 43 retail RDs, and the most recent edition provides a toolkit for National Dairy Month with recipes, social media activations, talking points, and educational materials to share with their shoppers. We also have a webpage with resources for our retail RDs.

During June, we’re focusing on “Real Dairy, Real Smoothies.” Price Chopper RD Ellie Wilson wrote a blog for National Dairy Month, saying, “As a registered dietitian-nutritionist, and a dairy lover, I am very sure dairy is the real deal – wholesome, versatile, and a culinary champion used in an amazing variety of foods and recipes.”

Price Chopper is also celebrating dairy with us all month long digitally through email banners, mentions on its Facebook page and website, and a sponsored keyword search using terms like dairy, smoothie, fruit, protein, shakes, healthy, and others that link to our promotions first.

Weis Markets is featuring dairy in the centerfold of its Healthy Bites Magazine, including real dairy smoothie recipe videos on its social media channels, and sharing two virtual cooking classes this month featuring our smoothies. Three media segments are planned with RDs sharing smoothie recipes that will also include messaging about the in-store Fill a Glass with Hope campaign.

Fill a Glass with Hope is the charitable milk campaign with ADA North East, Feeding Pennsylvania, and PA Dairymen’s Association that helps local food banks get fresh milk to families in need. During June, more than 500 Price Chopper, Redner’s Markets, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Safeway, and Weis Markets locations are asking their shoppers to round up their change at checkout to support the campaign. Last year, the retailers raised $443,748 in consumer donations!

“With the majority of all dairy products still being sold through retail, it’s even more important that dairy farmers’ checkoff investment is helping reach consumers where they’re doing their shopping,” said Chrisman.

Jean Kummer

Jean Kummer is the industry communications specialist for American Dairy Association North East.