Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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December 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 53 Genevieve Poirier-Richards, SVP of marketing at the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), a Washington, D.C.-based organization funded by the nation's milk companies and committed to increasing fluid milk consumption, sees beverage choices as an effective way to support shoppers' health-and-wellness needs, both for bundled meals and for snacking. "e interest in protein sources has been an op- portunity for us to remind consumers that milk is a great, inexpensive and reliable protein source," Poirier- Richards says. "Together with its vitamin content and healthy fats, milk packs a nutrient powerhouse. We're also promoting chocolate milk for athletic recovery for athletes and trainers. It's a natural source of energy, with a carb-to-protein ratio that athletes seek." As more people look for whole foods with simple ingredient lists, the milk industry wants to remind consumers that milk can't be beat. "It's not highly processed; it's a wholesome, old-fashioned drink that we all grew up with," Poirier-Richards observes. One cross-merchandising strategy for milk is My Morning Program, which uses signage to inform shoppers that milk can fuel kids' mornings with 8 grams of protein. When paired with other ingre- dients like eggs and whole grain cereals, milk can deliver good health and high- protein breakfasts. Similar efforts brought smoothie samplings and recipes to stores to support MilkPEP's sponsorships of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. "We need to work against 'the sea of white' in the dairy section," Poirier-Richards asserts. "We'd love to see more RTD milk in small coolers near the prepared food section or at registers." According to MilkPEP, milk generates 18 percent of dairy de- partment profit from 10 percent of the space, yet milk merchan- dising hasn't kept up with other store sections. Poirier-Richards says, "We keep asking the ques- tion, 'Where else can drinking milk be?'" When it comes to helping shoppers make choices with better health in mind, this question could be adapted to "Where else can more healthful options be," and all grocery retailers should be asking it. PG DAIRY GOOD MilkPEP works with retailers to promote milk as a key component of healthy eating.

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