Down with the cool kids

Having come back from Copenhagen and then gone to the local supermarket for a stock-up, I was bemused to see the Arla Foods endcap setup above. I’m a big fan of dairy anytime, but this presentation just highlighted what Patrik Hansson, CMO, executive vice president for marketing and innovation at Arla Foods himself asked at the recent Dairy Innovation Strategies conference in Copenhagen. “Looking at the dairy industry, we haven’t modernised – we’re still talking about the family breakfast. Sorry, the family breakfast is gone!” he observed. “How can we get the next generation to enjoy the products we make? How come ultra-processed foods get all the cool marketing? How can nutritious food attract the cool kids of the next generation?”

I am probably not alone in sitting either by myself at breakfast, or watching one’s offspring eat cereal while perusing their phones at the table. I would say something to the child about the phone use at the table, but we’re not really talkers in the morning. Of all the meals possible, however, the morning rush to leave the house is the most unlikely place we’re all together.

Thus, the very notion of the family breakfast is seriously outdated. Which is what Hansson noted, while Arla Foods UK is continuing to reinforce the idea that dairy is for breakfast and nothing else (see photo).

That being said, he made a lot of good points. He continued, “Food is the problem, but it’s also the solution. We have lost touch on nutrition, but we are sitting in the dairy industry on a lot of solutions. The real super story is not milk, it’s yogurt and cheese. When you ferment a product, you absorb the nutrients better and it’s about making food bioavailability better. It’s the power of the dairy matrix.

“We are sitting on a lot of magic, so how we do translate that magic into cool, modern, products that people want to consume? We need to modernise our innovation, sneaking the nutrition in with cool, fun, sexy ways. It’s about breaking out of the boxes. Dairy 2.0 is about being much better in the way we market and communicate products, as sugar, salt and fat scares have influenced too much of the work.”

Agreed. I brought home various dairy products, and we had a snack yogurt, after a plateful of other easily ingestible treats for lunch, which included mozzarella in little balls, with a bit of basil olive oil to dip into. I thought, as we ate, that perhaps taking a page from our alternative friends for marketing is the way to move from dairy at just breakfast time.

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