They have always been the cornerstone of British breakfasts , but despite being the apparently perfect match, milk and cereal have tended to promote themselves as separate entities.

That all changes next week with the launch of the first joint marketing campaign promoting them together as a healthy, nutritious start to the day.

The Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers has linked up with Dairy UK and The Dairy Council to create a generic campaign through the summer and autumn.

The campaign will look to engage consumer print media with information on the nutrient and convenience benefits of breakfast cereal with milk.

It will be backed by YouGov research showing that 60% of consumers consider breakfast the most important meal , and that eating a bowl of breakfast cereal is the most popular way for people in the UK to consume milk.

The promotion will also point out the FSA's Eat Well advice, which recommends eating wholegrain cereals for breakfast as one of its 'Top Tips'.

The key nutrients provided by milk and cereal , such as fibre, folate and calcium, are those most often in short supply in the British diet, said ACFM spokeswoman Julie Bennett.

"As UK consumers become increasingly

health-conscious, it's vital that the dairy industry

continues to communicate the role of milk within a healthy balanced diet," said Dairy UK director general Jim Begg.

"Breakfast cereal with milk is the ideal way for people to get their important daily nutrients, including calcium, and we're delighted to be working with the cereal industry to communicate this important message."

The two sides have said they will continue working together on further initiatives if this summer's campaign proves to be a success.

The UK milk and breakfast cereal categories are worth £3bn and £1.2bn respectively.