It seems that the dairy industry is in dire need of intensifying the "Got Milk?" campaign. Adam Chandler, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, has chronicled not only the decline of dairy in general, but also the dairy industry's marketing tactics being used against the increasingly popular alternative of almond milk.
Chandler notes that "according to the USDA, milk consumption has declined by 37 percent since the 1970s" and that market-research firm Nielsen reported that "the total milk market shrunk by more than $1 billion." These figures alone are enough for the milk industry to take notice and update their campaigns, but when combined with the rising popularity of almond milk, Chandler notes that:
"For dairy farmers and the dairy milk industry, the alternatives to cows have become the source of some beef."
A main reason for this feud comes from the same report by Nielsen, which found that almond milk in particular is:
"America's favorite milk substitute, boasting sales growth of 250 percent over the past five years."
Chandler then goes on to elaborate on a few of the milk industry's campaigns designed to bring dairy milk back to the forefront, or at the very least, keep almond milk in the background. He notes the ad campaign with a spelling bee commercial designed to keep dairy milk looking like a simple and wholesome choice, while almond milk was portrayed as a complicated and--as Chandler puts it--impure alternative. Other commercials that I have also noticed seem primarily focused on dairy milk being shown as wholesome, traditional, and being able to bring family together.
As Chandler notes, these types of ads fall under the $50 million Milk Life campaign, which seems intent on updating the standard "Got Milk?" motto and rhetoric. However, if the decline of dairy milk has been consistent on its own, targeting almond milk specifically may not actually help dairy sales at all--especially considering the increasing amount of dairy-free alternatives that go beyond almonds.
Perhaps the dairy industry will need to focus on ridiculing all types of plant-based milks in its efforts to present dairy milk as the wholesome and natural option.
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