Sir, We read with interest the opinion piece last week on the dairy industry’s promotional work and how vegans are deflecting our positive messaging.
As the Grocer has highlighted, it is incredibly important that the sector remains singularly focused on its messages highlighting the positive contribution dairy plays in the diet – and dairy farms contribute to the environment – rather than going toe-to-toe in a negative battle of attrition with detractors pushing their own single-issue agenda.
Dairy has its own positive story to tell and seeks to do that through The Department campaign. It does this using evidence, professionalism and, in this instance, humour to land important messaging. This is not because people are leaving the sector in droves. We maintain 98% penetration in UK homes. Instead, it is to ensure that important messages on nutrition and enjoyment of dairy are re-energised, amid widespread misinformation.
We realise one of the main concerns for many farmers and processors is that the often emotive and aggressive anti-dairy rhetoric isn’t being answered publically. We are deliberately not reacting. We are focusing on the positive farmer and nutritional messaging as part of a long-term strategy. We believe this is the right approach. Individuals are free to make their own choices. Negative rhetoric and threats should not be accepted.
Our approach with The Department is millennial focused to reach an important audience. Of those interacting with The Department, the 18-34 age group makes up 37%, and are actively engaged in a positive manner. That is half the battle.
We have chosen to focus resources on positive messaging with a key audience where there are biggest gains to made in connecting – or reconnecting – with a love of dairy. We hope the wider food and drink sector can help amplify those messages.
Judith Bryans, Chief Executive, Dairy UK
Rebecca Miah, Senior Consumer Marcomms Manager, AHDB