Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 23 September 2018

'Bad science and urban myths about dairy see millennials opt for trendy non-dairy products'

Brooke Torpey pictured at the launch of National Dairy Council's Complete Natural POP Up Milk Bar in South William Street, Dublin.
Brooke Torpey pictured at the launch of National Dairy Council's Complete Natural POP Up Milk Bar in South William Street, Dublin.

Michael Cullen

A new marketing campaign by the National Dairy Council (NDC) will see it target young women who, it says, are simply not getting the message around dairy being key to a healthy diet.

The National Dairy Council (NDC) has a new ad campaign flowing from the credo: 'Irish dairy, the complete natural'. Following in-depth studies, the NDC noted a major discrepancy in its marketing communications. Young female consumers age 20-29 were simply not getting the message as to why dairy plays such a key part in maintaining a healthy diet.

Dairy Council chief Zoe Kavanagh has a long-term plan to engage with millennials
Dairy Council chief Zoe Kavanagh has a long-term plan to engage with millennials

Bad science and urban myths about dairy's fat levels, allergies and lactose intolerance didn't help as millennials opt for trendy almond milk lattes and gluten-free foods, according to Zoe Kavanagh, NDC Chief Executive.

But, she says, there's a nutritional price to pay for twenty-something women avoiding a food high in protein, calcium and micronutrients. "Milk is the best recovery drink after exercise and it's good for muscle ton  e, teeth and for strengthening hair and nails."

Kavanagh hopes that the new strategy will help steer millennials in a new direction. The NDC is funded through Ireland's dairy farmers. The 'Complete Natural' campaign is part of the European Milk Forum's (EMF) 'Milk Moments' drive across eight international markets. The €500,000 pre-Christmas out-of-home and digital campaign will be followed next year with a €1m splash.

Fronting the ads is 'spokes-toddler' Daisy. Event Fuel was hired for experiential ideas. NDC has opened a new pop-up milk bar on Dublin's South William Street. "The campaign is about dairy being authentic," Kavanagh says. "We want to be trusted by women millennials - tomorrow's mums. It won't happen overnight. After three to five years, we'd want to have won over 75pc of the market. Ultimate success is probably 10 years down the road."

She also says that not only do young mothers make food choices for themselves and their family, they share facts and figures with their contemporaries and exert influence on nutrition beyond purchases.

The NDC asked itself: how well do they know twenty-something women waiting in the wings? Research agency B&A was asked to do 1,000 interviews.

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General feedback was positive. Ireland is second only to Finland in Europe for milk consumption, with 99pc penetration. The average Irish household consumes 6.5 litres of milk a week. Milk, yogurt and cheese have around 2pc annual growth. Three out of four consumers see Irish dairy farming as positive due to our grass-based system, with cows out in the fields for about 300 days in the year. It explains why Irish butter has a rich yellow hue.

Health is the main motivation for dairy consumers, with men scoring 72pc, while women were on 65pc. "We discovered millennial women are taking the scenic route to adulthood - in more ways than one," Kavanagh told AdLib. "As they try and manage their weight, millennials are likely to choose alternatives to dairy." Previs Consulting provided feedback for NDC on young women's changing attitudes to dairy in Ireland today.

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