A new campaign to educate consumers on the nutritional benefits of milk and boost sales is focusing on milk as a rich source of protein.
“We’re pretty excited about our new Protein Fight Club,” said Vivien Godfrey, executive director of MilkPEP, the Milk Processors Education Program.
MilkPEP’s new advertising campaign of videos on YouTube and television depicts milk as the protein winner when it comes up against other breakfast choices.
Protein is a hot topic with consumers, with about one-third of Americans saying they want to get more protein in their diet. In addition, nutrition experts recommend including 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal, but most adults are only getting 10 to 12 grams at breakfast, about 20 grams at lunch and way too much in the evening, she said.
An 8-ounce glass of milk packs 8 grams of protein, and having milk at breakfast fits the bill for both increasing overall protein consumption and spreading out that consumption, Godfrey said.
MilkPEP applied a humorous tone to its new advertising, making milk the clear protein winner in challenges against orange juice, omelets, eggs Benedict, breakfast sausage, breakfast burritos and bagels with cream cheese.
While milk has nine essential nutrients and is widely recognized for its calcium content, the advertising stresses the protein content to be on-trend with consumer demand. The campaign also broadens MilkPEP’s target from moms and women, reaching out to dads and men, she said.
The campaign shows milk behaving in a new way, shifting from “passive caregiver” to “active hero,” and it shouts out the “new” news that milk has high-quality protein, said Julia Kadison, MilkPEP vice president of marketing.
Sharing that “new” news could have a huge potential to positively impact milk consumption, according to recent research commissioned by MilkPEP. That research shows a potential incremental volume of as much as 500 million gallons of milk, as much as an 18 percent increase in at-home breakfast consumption and an 8.2 increase in total milk consumption, she said.
“We already know that 50 percent of all milk consumed in the U.S. is at breakfast,” Godfrey said.
Getting a little more consumed at breakfast provides the most opportunity to grow consumption, she said.
A growing body of research shows that protein, and in particular, protein at breakfast, allows people to maintain lean muscle mass and a healthy weight. Milk can be a vital component of that healthier trend, she said.
“We want to be part of the trend and encourage consumers to drink more milk,” she said.
MilkPEP is funded by milk processors but also works closely with dairy farmers. Each video in the new campaign opens with a cow to remind consumers that wholesome milk comes from cows, she said.
The campaign costs less than $5 million and is funded from MilkPEP’s $100 million annual budget, she said.
The Protein Fight Club campaign is a run up to a much bigger advertising campaign to launch in February. It’s laying the groundwork of the importance of protein at breakfast, she said.