When people think of “local” food, what comes to mind?
Fruits and vegetables, for sure. For many of us, eating seasonal fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm is a deliciously easy menu makeover to give a nod to the changing of seasons.
Bakery? You bet! From breads and crackers to cakes, pies, and cookies, locally made bakery products have long had loyal fans in many communities across America.
What many people don’t automatically think of when it comes to “local” is dairy. Did you know that the majority of dairy farms are family owned, too? Produced in all 50 states, dairy is a year-round, local source of many nutrients, including protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, D, B12, niacin, and more.
My grandfather was a dairy farmer, and I had the privilege of working for America’s dairy farmers, so I’m particularly excited to help you share all the benefits of dairy with your shoppers. June Dairy Month is a great time to reintroduce the dairy story to shoppers, reminding them that dairy is an affordable, easy-to-enjoy, delicious, nutritious, and local choice—making it the perfect tie-in for your “Local Equals Fresh” branding.
Look at these dairy details:
According to Nielsen data, 48 percent of shoppers consider it important to buy local dairy, and the same percent say they include dairy often in their meals (Nielsen U.S. Homescan Panel Survey, December 2018, and IFIC 2018Food & Health Survey).
Dairy products are diverse! Dairy includes milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, dry milk products, condensed milk, and whey products (USDA Economic Research Service).
Dairy pairs well with all the other food groups, requires no cooking, and provides nearly endless options for fast, balanced snacks like string cheese and fruit, cheese and crackers, or yogurt sprinkled with dried fruit and nuts.
As IGA’s Local Equals Fresh branding begins to take off in stores around the country—and grocery shoppers continue to think of their grocery store as an important part of their quest to eat well (see FMI's U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018 report for more insight)—IGA is in a prime position to become our shoppers’ partner for local, nutrient-rich options like dairy.
Shine a light on the benefits of dairy this June Dairy Month
Be sure to visitIGA.com beginning June 1 for dairy insights, recipes, and games (all shareable on your store’s Facebook page with a click of a button), and watch your email next week for additional June Dairy Month digital assets, including graphics, Facebook posts and more.
Looking to take things a step further and make your store a year-round dairy destination? Watch for an upcoming story in The IGA Minute with suggestions and tips from IGA retailers who are partnering with local dairy farmers, and don’t forget about customizable Local Equals Fresh signage available for your store.
Our stores are local, our shoppers are our neighbors, and farmers in our communities provide nutritious, delicious food to all of us. That’s a story worth telling during June Dairy Month and all year long.