Revamping fluid milk, increasing exports and bringing restaurant leaders into the dairy discussion were topics for the 2013 joint meeting of three dairy industry organizations – the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, the National Milk Producers Federation and the United Dairy Industry Association.
More than 1,000 dairy producers and industry representatives attended the meeting, held Nov. 11-13 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Working in partnership with major dairy and foodservice companies and consumer brands to grow sales was a key message of the event, which included a panel discussion with representatives from McDonald's USA and The Quaker Oats Company.
Additionally, Taco Bell President Brian Niccol and Chief Food Innovation Officer Liz Matthews presented the chain's plans to help grow sales through dairy product innovation and new menu items.
"Working with companies who have a shared commitment and goal to increase sales is the right thing to do," explained outgoing NDB Chairman Steve Maddox. "It allows us to leverage resources and expertise, and create a win-win for us and those we work with."
Fluid milk boosters
Neil Hoff, UDIA Chairman, focused on the future of fluid milk sales, explaining that checkoff dollars provide for meetings with fluid milk processors, dairy cooperatives, retailers and suppliers to identify options to stabilize fluid milk prices.
"To date, the checkoff has invested $9 million to turn around sales and bring consumers back to the category," Hoff explained. He expects investments in the next five years to continue building the category will total hundreds of millions of dollars.