IDFA Dairy Forum

MilkPEP finds kids want to drink more milk but need encouragement from parents

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Kids, particularly 'tweens', are an underleveraged opportunity for the fluid milk category, according to MilkPEP. ©GettyImages/Sam Edwards
Kids, particularly 'tweens', are an underleveraged opportunity for the fluid milk category, according to MilkPEP. ©GettyImages/Sam Edwards

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The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) sees kids between the ages of seven and 17 as a bright spot in potential volume growth for the fluid milk category and is working to reengage this younger demographic, says MilkPEP VP of strategy and insights Kikke Riedel.

According to MilkPEP research, kids represent a core but often overlooked consumer audience that is driving much of the milk volume growth.

“There’s an underleveraged opportunity out there and it’s standing right in front of us; those are kids,” ​Riedel said at the IDFA Dairy Forum in Palm Desert, California, this week.

“They make up 21% of the population and they’re close to 40% of the (milk) volume.”

Mirroring declines occurring in the overall fluid milk category, milk volume consumption among kids has declined by roughly 500m gallons over the past five years, according to Riedel.

Through its research, MilkPEP has also uncovered that kids’ autonomy in making their own general food and beverage decisions sets in at age 14, but their decision and opinion on milk starts at age 11.

‘One of the barriers is mom’

MilkPEP’s strategy and insights team conducted a survey, asking 1,500 children between the ages of seven and 17 about their attitudes towards milk.

Results of the survey showed that four out of 10 respondents said they are willing to drink more milk and one out five said, “I wish I could drink more milk.”

“When you ask them why they don’t drink more milk, they say mom and dad tells them to drink a different beverage,”​ Riedel said.

Roughly 15% of respondents also said that they would drink more milk if their mom or dad encouraged them to do so.

“We need to knock down some barriers and we need to create motivators for the kid and one of the barriers is mom.”

Building relevance with kids and parents

MilkPEP has focused its recent marketing efforts on targeting “tweens”​ with a television spot launched in June 2017 featuring young girls drinking milk to fuel their skateboarding under the tagline “Milk It!”

An additional survey polled millennial-aged moms on their attitudes towards milk as a healthy beverage for their kids before and after viewing the “Milk It!” advertising. According to Riedel, there was a 13% increase in moms rating milk as healthy after seeing the advertising compared to moms who had not.

“We really needed to get into a dialogue with these kids with the hope that we could create an echo chamber at home,”​ Riedel said.

The organization is continuing its focus on encouraging kids to drink milk with Olympic athlete partnerships for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

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