Julia Kadison, CEO of MilkPEP
In a DairyLine broadcast to producers this week, Julia Kadison, the newly appointed CEO of the Milk Processor Education Program, outlined MilkPEP’s new strategy and programs for working with industry counterparts to tackle and reverse declining milk sales and consumption.
"There is a new level of commitment and engagement across the dairy industry as milk processors and brands, farmers and marketing organizations are united and inspired by today’s challenging environment. Milk sales and consumption continue to decline, but we are all committed to working together to understand, tackle and reverse that trend.
"As MilkPEP’s newly appointed CEO, I’m excited to be a part of this movement and eager to share my vision for MilkPEP, the national fluid milk marketing program.
Turning around a category as large as milk is no simple task – in fact it can be quite daunting. The solution is a focused strategy and programs that have both immediate and long-term impact. I believe we’ve set the right course, with the right strategic roadmap in place that we now need to follow, measure success and optimize over time. Out-of-the-box thinking, disruptive marketing programs and a commitment to shake things up, take risks and be bold are critical to milk’s success.
"Beyond driving increased milk consumption, MilkPEP is aggressively pursuing three supporting goals to help us get there:
- First, we will reinforce American consumers’ beliefs in and relationships with milk;
- Second, we will create flexible and accessible programming that helps milk processors build value for their brands; and
- Third, we will nurture long-term partnerships across milk industry groups to maximize overall impact.
"MilkPEP working alone can’t reverse the consumption declines. Working with other like-minded organizations is a critical part of MilkPEP’s DNA. MilkPEP and Dairy Management Inc. have joined together to identify common goals, collaborate closely on program efforts and forge partnerships across milk processors, dairy farmers and other relevant groups. We’ve seen promising results from the alliance that will continue to pay dividends in the future.
"Over the past several months, MilkPEP has launched three groundbreaking programs. In February, we introduced Americans to Milk Life, which shows how starting the day with milk’s protein can help everyone accomplish what’s important to them.
"In April, we launched the Great American Milk Drive, a partnership between the milk industry and Feeding America to address the critical need for milk’s nutrition in America’s food banks.
"And, the new Built with Chocolate Milk campaign touts the competitive recovery benefits of chocolate milk after exercise.
"In early 2014, we also amped up our efforts to increase consumer confidence in milk’s fundamental goodness. These initiatives safeguard milk’s reputation against anti-milk messages that impact consumers’ purchasing decisions. Without a strong foundation, our programs can’t work as hard as they should.
"Early results show that our campaigns are hard hitting, effectively changing attitudes and motivating consumption.
"These are all long-term programs for the milk industry. Most critical is staying focused on the initiatives that we see are moving more milk, changing consumer behavior and activating the industry to work hand-in-hand toward success. I’m excited about what the future holds for MilkPEP and the dairy industry, and look forward to more collaboration, more focus and more excitement that will truly make a difference."