Milk is to get its first-ever logo in a bid to generate greater stand-out in the branded drinks category.

The 'new milk' logo, as it is referred to, will be launched at this year's Dairy Event next week (19-20 September) and is intended for use on packaging used by individual on-farm processors, large processors and supermarkets.

Its launch comes in the wake of a Milk Development Council study looking at how to maintain the recent upturn in milk consumption and forms an integral part of the new marketing strategy for milk.

New milk would offer cross-generational appeal, building emotional rather than habitual connections with consumers, said Nigel Hillier, creative director of UffindellWest, the branding agency behind the identity.

"This will bring some personality to milk," he said. "We wanted to make sure milk wasn't just seen as a condiment, which was only used with cereals or tea and coffee.

"It needed to make the leap from an undervalued product to a nourishing choice ."

The brand guidelines move away from traditional good-for-you messages, which the MDC believes are only regarded as relevant for the very young or very old, towards 'total health understanding', emphasising the energy that milk can bring to people's lives.

The MDC said it would announce the appointment of an ad agency in the next few weeks. However, a new campaign is not likely to run before Christmas.

"Levy payers are passionate about repositioning milk as a drink for today," said MDC marketing manager Amanda Ball, adding that the new marketing plans would not take a one-size-fits-all approach in the manner of The White Stuff campaign.

"We will create specific messages for different audiences. We are taking our time to ensure we get the execution right," she said. "We are confident it will have high impact."