Dairy farmer-funded checkoff is ensuring the more than 50 million Americans eating fast food every day have the option to choose milk and dairy foods in top quick-serve restaurants.
“Dairy checkoff has developed partnerships with Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and others, to put more dairy-based items on the menu and, thereby, sell more dairy,” said Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East. “The partners selected by dairy checkoff are those that are both leaders in the industry and willing to invest in innovation, marketing, advertising and infrastructure that will increase sales and trust among consumers.”
Dairy checkoff provides food scientists to work with the partners to develop and test menu items that add more dairy to the items offered. On average, for every $1 invested by farmers through the dairy checkoff, the partners contribute more than $10.
The nearly 15-year checkoff partnership with McDonald’s has dramatically boosted the sale of milk and dairy products, with 80 percent of its menu including dairy. In 2014, the restaurant analyzed checkoff research on butter and dairy fat resulting in the change from liquid margarine to butter, leading to an additional 700 million pounds of milk equivalent per year. By 2016, McDonald’s saw an eight percent increase in dairy sales, which also encouraged other chains like Burger King and Bob Evans to follow.
Last September, McDonald’s relaunched its McCafé beverage line of which 90 percent includes dairy. New seasonal beverages and upgraded equipment to make a wider variety of milk-based premium coffee products such as a Caramel Macchiato, to the 26 million consumers that visit a McDonald’s every day.
Checkoff’s partnership with Domino’s started in 2008, and the chain has increased its overall cheese usage by more than 58 percent – an average growth rate of almost seven percent per year. Thanks, in large part, to its partnership with dairy checkoff, Domino’s has introduced new ways to order pizza, including texting, tweeting, smart TV and Amazon Echo voice ordering.
Taco Bell grew dairy sales by 10 percent in 2016, thanks to an increased focus on cheese and two limited-time launches developed by checkoff scientists – the Quesalupa and Cheesy Core Burrito.
Most recently, Pizza Hut is now adding 25 percent more cheese on every signature “Pan Pizza.” Impacting nearly one-third of the pizzas sold by the chain, an incremental 150 million pounds of milk will be used each year. The partnership with Pizza Hut began in 2013, and there are 7,000 restaurants across the country.
The pizza changes are a direct result of dairy checkoff’s efforts, dating back to our “pizza turnaround” in 2009, to increase pizza sales and cheese utilization.
For more information about national partnerships, contact Cindy Weimer, at [email protected]
About American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing more than 12,000 dairy farm families in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and northern Virginia, ADANE develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit American Dairy.