The 12-week campaign will focus on driving the tea, coffee and milky drink usage occasions
It will appear on social media, digital, billboards close to supermarkets and television
The dairy sector has teamed up with Defra and the devolved administrations for a new £1m promotional campaign to highlight the key role of fresh milk and dairy in diets.
The 12-week campaign, which goes live next week, will be funded through a combination of £500,000 in funding from the UK, Welsh and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland Executive, £300,000 from Dairy UK members and £200,000 from AHDB.
Conversations were also “ongoing” with a number of companies and organisations across the dairy industry in order to increase the funding pot, AHDB said.
The push will focus on the importance of ‘human connections’ during the coronavirus crisis and on driving the tea, coffee and milky drink occasions – due to their having the largest volume opportunities for dairy sales.
“Whether it’s a virtual cup of tea with family or a frothy latte with friends, milk has always been there and will support those connections in this time of crisis,” said AHDB and Dairy UK.
The campaign will appear on social media, digital, billboards close to supermarkets and, for the first time in over a decade, on television.
Defra has also announced England’s dairy farmers will be able to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
It follows a turbulent two-month period for the liquid milk industry, amid a collapse in sales to the foodservice and hospitality sectors that has led to plummeting farmgate prices and payment delays from some processors.
The new funding will help support dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand for their products. Eligible farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible to access the funding for those qualifying months.
Defra confirmed there would be no cap set on the number of farmers who could receive the support or on the total funding available.
“Our dairy industry plays a crucial role in feeding our nation and we want to support them however we can at this challenging time,” said Defra secretary George Eustice.
“We know the closure of restaurants and food outlets has meant many producers have excess milk that might otherwise go to waste. That’s why we are backing this [advertising] campaign to drive milk consumption and boost sales.”
Eustice also pointed to the government’s relaxation of competition rules to allow dairy farmers to work more closely together, while stressing the government would “continue to support them through this difficult period”.
“This is a fantastic demonstration of what can be achieved when industry and government join together to meet a common challenge,” said AHDB chief marketing officer Christine Watts.
“We know that consumers love milk and the great taste of dairy, but because it’s such an integral part of our lives, consumers tend to take it for granted – in the same way we all tend to take our day-to-day relationships as a given.
“AHDB has been delivering a strong focus on the reputation of dairy for the last three years and this campaign will further deliver on the great work we have already begun.”
Dairy UK CEO Judith Bryans added: “Everyday moments of human connection are especially important during this crisis.
“With this campaign we want to highlight the central and sometimes forgotten role dairy plays as part of our everyday lives. We want to remind people of the importance of taking a moment to connect with each other while enjoying the foods they love, even if it is remotely.”