WASHINGTON, DC — The Milk Processor Education Program has kicked off a year-long initiative, the Campaign for Healthy Weight, designed to publicize the value of milk in reversing the increased incidence of obesity in the United States.
The campaign includes national advertising, public relations and promotional activities designed to educate Americans about the role of milk in maintaining optimum body weight, and ultimately to increase consumer demand.
MilkPEP observed that studies continue to identify vended milk as one of the industry’s leading growth segments. As vending positions itself as a provider of solutions to patrons’ dietary concerns, and consumers seek healthier alternatives in the away-from-home cold drink category, operators have an opportunity to boost sales by increasing their deployment of milk vending equipment, or by adding milk to the product mix.
MilkPEP got the Healthy Weight campaign off to a gala start in New York City in mid-January, and has released a new report titled Weighing In on the American Diet. Conducted by The NPD Group in collaboration with MilkPEP, the study found that Americans regard “feeling healthy” as a primary motivator for weight management or loss, with 29% of women and 19% of men reporting that they are on diets. Most Americans who diet say they do so for their health, not primarily to lose weight; 68% of respondents cited health as their motivation, while fewer than 10% reported being on an “extreme diet” that eliminates an entire food group, such as dairy.
The study also found that adult dieters who regularly drink lowfat or fat-free milk are more ikely to have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI); respondents who reported drinking milk regularly also are less likely to feel deprived.
The Campaign for Healthy Weight encourages consumers to focus on simple life-long changes, such as choosing lowfat or fat-free milk rather than beverages devoid of nutrients.
“Vending operators are working hard to keep vending viable with healthy products,” said Julie Buric, MilkPEP’s vice-president of marketing. The Campaign for Healthy Weight is educating consumers about milk, she pointed out, and can work to the vendor’s advantage. “Such a dynamic campaign offers vending operators an opportunity to dovetail with the consumer buzz by further promoting and selling vended milk.”
The Campaign for Healthy Weight aims to have a million people take a healthy weight pledge and vote for milk this election year at whymilk.com. New Milk Moustache “got milk?” ads for The Campaign for Healthy Weight feature actress Glenn Close and celebrities from popular television programs that will run through 2008.
Extensive MilkPEP vending-related material is available at milkdelivers.org (click on “vending” in the menu at the upper left of the screen).
The Milk Processor Education Program is funded by the nation’s milk processors. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is contracted by MilkPEP to administer processor-funded programming.