Igniting innovation in fluid milk and milk based beverages to meet the growing demands of both foreign and U.S. consumers is the objective of seven wide-ranging partnerships announced by Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI).
The seven partners, supported by DMI which represents America’s dairy farm families and importers, are committing an unprecedented investment to unlock innovation and put milk back in the center of the rapidly growing health and wellness beverage market. They include Dairy Farmers of America (DFA); Darigold/Northwest Dairy Assn.; The Kroger Co.; Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Assn., Inc.; Shamrock Farms; Southeast Milk, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co.
“These dairy partners are making an unprecedented investment over the next few years – more than half a billion dollars in capital and other resources,” said Tom Gallagher, CEO of DMI. “With our check-off resources and dedication to fluid milk innovation, we’re excited to see how unique partnerships will help us drive ingenuity and generate new offerings and sales in the fluid milk category.”
DMI’s fluid milk partnerships represent marketplace leaders chosen for their anticipated catalytic effect in causing others in the business to follow with innovation and investment.
The companies bring strong financial, technological and marketing capabilities to the partnerships; DMI’s commitment is assisting in product development, consumer insights, nutritional consulting, technical and formulation support, and introductions to perspective marketplace partners.
Neil Hoff, Texas dairy farmer and United Dairy Industry Assn. chairman, said, “We know that growing the fluid milk business won’t be quick or easy but we believe these seven partners put us on the right footing. We see health and wellness and demand for protein as a consistent need for U.S. consumers, and also for consumers around the world.”
“As a farmer, I am proud to see to see farmer-led organizations and other leaders committed to revitalizing fluid milk,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer, chairman of DMI and chairman of United Dairymen of Arizona, a regional dairy cooperative.
The seven partnerships will work to meet consumer needs through a variety of efforts including new products, new channels, enhanced distribution, merchandising and more. The long-term investment shows the dedication of America’s dairy farmers and importers to work with and through marketplace partners to create lasting category change.