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Dairy Farmers of Ontario once again puts the focus on families

New advertising in its two-year-old “Dairy Done Right” platform features one of its more than 3,400 dairy farming families

Dairy Farmers of Ontario has launched advertising in its two-year-old “Dairy Done Right” platform that once again features one of the province’s more than 3,400 farming families.

The new campaign is led by a 30-second TV and online spot featuring the Krul family from Arthur, Ont. The spot juxtaposes the Krul’s work on their farm with the wholesome meals made using Ontario milk and enjoyed by families across the province.

Rosa Checchia, chief marketing officer at DFO, says the goal is to reinforce the positive image of the province’s dairy industry. “We are reminding consumers [that] Ontario dairy farms are run by local families who take pride in caring for their animals, the land and their communities by producing high-quality milk for their family, friends and neighbours,” she says.

The organization knows that consumers are more likely to consume more of a product when they feel positively about the people who produce it. The ultimate goal, she says, is to increase dairy consumption.

The campaign comes amid a sharp rise in alternative products such as oat milk, with a Financial Post report earlier this year citing Euromonitor data indicating that the global market for milk substitutes has risen more than 96% since 2010, reaching US$17 billion in 2020.

Fluid milk consumption has been falling steadily in Canada for the past decade, reaching 64.2 litres per capita in 2019, down from an estimated 78.5 litres per capita in 2010. And when it was released in 2019, Canada’s new food guide was notable for placing less emphasis on cow’s milk than in previous years, leading Dairy Farmers of Canada to issue a statement saying it was “concerned” the food guide did not reflect research showing the health benefits of milk consumption. “There is abundant research that demonstrates that milk products with various fat content can be part of a healthy diet,” read the statement, in part.

However, Checchia says consumer buying patterns during the pandemic have been “positive” for dairy, despite volatility in the foodservice and hospitality sectors. “Early on, coffee and breakfast at home prompted a surge in fluid milk and cream sales, and this was accompanied by a baking frenzy that also had a positive impact on buying patterns,” she says.

While acknowledging there remains some marketplace uncertainty, Checchia says DFO remains focused on using marketing to show dairy’s goodness and versatility, as well as the feel-good moments associated with it during the holidays.

The brand recently brought back its “Big Believers” holiday spot showing excited children futilely trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve, complete with references to the time-honoured tradition of leaving out milk and cookies for Santa.

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