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MilkPEP's Big Bet

May 29, 2012
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor
Actress Salma Hayek and her daughter team up with MilkPEP to promote the Breakfast Project in bilingual print and TV ads.  

**Extended story highlighted in blue.


‘The Breakfast Project’ refocuses fluid milk promotion

They call it "the big bet." The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has committed $60 million annually starting in 2012 and promises to continue its new milk promotion campaign, "The Breakfast Project," over the next several years.

That’s two-thirds of MilkPEP’s roughly $100 million budget for each of these years. Fluid promotion is funded by a 20¢ per cwt. assessment tacked onto the Class I price.


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Launched in February, the Breakfast Project recognizes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—both nutritionally and as a driver of fluid milk sales. "Breakfast is where 58% of all milk consumption occurs," says Julia Kadison, MilkPEP’s vice president of marketing.

MilkPEP’s all-in bet on breakfast is designed to stem the ebbing tide of milk consumption, which has been declining for the past 35 years on a per-person basis. Overall per capita beverage consumption has been flat over that period—there’s only so much room in the belly—with milk succumbing to competing products.

The beverage categories that have grown have successfully innovated, particularly by adding functional benefits, like calcium in orange juice. Volatile milk prices, often reaching $4 and even $5 per gallon in some retail markets, have not helped.

MilkPEP’s new marketing thrust is based on research over the past two years involving some 4,500 consumers. The researchers keyed in on where consumers are drinking milk, where they aren’t and how to change it.

While more than half of milk consumption occurs at breakfast, one in five Americans—some 60 million folks—do not eat or drink anything in the morning. Millions more opt for nutrient-poor choices on the run, often via drive-through windows.

Children and teens tend to skip breakfast more than any other meal. Researchers have found that children who skip breakfast fail to meet two-thirds of their needs for vitamin D, calcium and other minerals. And if breakfast is missed, it is rare that they compensate for these nutrient shortages at other meals.

"Breakfast is also the new dinner," Kadison says. "Unlike dinner, where kids are often off to soccer practice or other school activities, breakfast is the one time during the day when families are together."

"Even though mornings can sometimes be chaotic, this is a special time of day," says celebrity TV chef Ellie Krieger. "Moms can feel good they’re bonding with their family and helping their kids get off to a good start by eating a healthy breakfast that includes milk."

Krieger and award-winning actress Salma Hayek have teamed up with MilkPEP to promote the

Breakfast Project. Hayek is featured in two TV spots, in both English and Spanish, and in two print ads that are running this year.

The first TV ad, "Come Drink Your Milk," is an intergenerational plea to moms to pass on to their children the healthy habit of drinking milk each morning. In the second spot, "Midnight Run," Hayek does a comic turn to demonstrate the extreme measures a mom will take to ensure her family has milk in the morning.

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FEATURED IN: Dairy Today - June/July 2012

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