To revive sales, milk companies and retailers are pushing smaller, more-convenient packages and health-oriented varieties, including protein-enhanced milk aimed at fitness-conscious consumers. The milk industry is also trying to target busy families with new packaging sizes and styles. Dean Foods Inc., the largest U.S. dairy producer, last year introduced a low-sugar chocolate milk for kids called TruMoo, and it sells lactose-free milk in grocery stores.
Kroger CEO David Dillon said in a recent interview that consumers may no longer consider milk as healthful as they once did. Which is why the grocery chain, which runs its own dairies, plans to start selling a milk brand called CARBMaster next month that contains 20% more protein and lower sugar content than conventional milk.
The dairy industry is also retooling its marketing to tout the authenticity of cow’s milk and to deride fast-growing alternatives like soy and almond milk as “imitation milk.”
The GotMilk.com website, run by the California Milk Processor Board, currently features a series of interactive games that explore the “science of imitation milk,” a parody of soy, almond, rice and other nondairy milk products.
Early next year, the industry said it plans to expand use of the “Real” seal that some dairy producers affix to milk cartons and other dairy products in order to help distinguish dairy milk from plant-based products.