The #GetReal initiative, launched by MilkPEP and Dairy Management Inc at the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) Dairy Forum in Boca Raton last week, is "focused on taking back the conversation about milk."
“Competitors are making confusing claims, science is being misconstrued in the media, alarming headlines are taken out of context, and activist groups are increasing their attacks against milk," Julia Kadison, CEO, MilkPEP, told DairyReporter.com.
"As an industry, we've faced attacks from activist groups for years, but this new social dynamic has elevated the attacks," she said.
"Unfortunately, all it takes to be a self-proclaimed nutrition 'expert' these days, it seems, is a smartphone and an opinion. But much of the advice and opinion that these untrained influencers share online is not supported with research, and solely advances an uninformed opinion or a social or political agenda."
As a result, consumers - many of whom are parents - are confused and increasingly question the nutritional value of milk, Kadison said.
"Setting the record straight"
In a bid to combat such sentiments, MilkPEP has taken to the internet with the aim of "setting the record straight" on five facts:
- Milk is a nutrient powerhouse – and it’s not just for kids.
- Milk contains a lot that's good, without the 'bad' that some people think (like excess calories and fat).
- Milk is simple - especially compared to non-dairy milks that can have more than 10 ingredients.
- Milk provides high-quality protein (almond and other non-dairy milk may have just one gram of protein).
- Milk is a real, wholesome and local product from family farms across the nation.
"It's time for us to say 'enough already!' and be more aggressive against the anti-milk misinformation that impacts consumers' purchasing decisions," said Kadison.
“We aim to set the record straight with a robust strategy consisting of a lot of positive milk stories, that is always on, and designed to reach consumers where they are looking for information to help make lifestyle decisions – online – and optimizing our advertising and other program efforts.”
“This is not only essential for the health of the industry, but for the health of Americans," Kadison added.
Since the January 27 launch of #GetReal, there has been "unprecedented response and engagement across the entire dairy industry and beyond," said Kadison.
“Nutrition experts, milk advocates, milk companies and dairy farmers, among other industry groups across the US, are using state-of-the-art technology to spread the facts about milk through social media channels – the place we’re seeing a lot of inaccurate and misleading information shared."
By January 29, more than 6,500 social media posts from the likes of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) had reached around 21m people, said IDFA.
“The #GetReal launch was a strong start to our journey to take the conversation back about milk and more actively and aggressively defend the reputation in the marketplace," said Kadison.
“#GetReal is just the beginning of a more aggressive approach and one part of our long-term strategy to impact consumer confidence in milk’s fundamental goodness," she added.