Milk Wants To Be Cool Again

(Photo credit: Unsplash/Brian Suman)
(Photo credit: Unsplash/Brian Suman)

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Time to milk milk.

Big Milk is trying to reinvent itself as a performance-enhancing beverage in an attempt to recapture younger consumers, according to a feature in The New York Times. The Milk Processor Education Program, an industry group based in Washington DC, is trying to market cow’s milk to young women athletes and gamers.

Crying Over Spilt Almond Milk

While millennials may have broken ground for oat lattes, it’s the generation after them that have the milk industry worried. Market research firm the Brightfield Group found 8% of Gen Z buy traditional cow’s milk for themselves, compared to 37% of baby boomers. “We have to reclaim milk’s mojo,” MPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani told the Times.

Health and environmental concerns have been big factors in younger generations turning their nose up at milk. The plan now is to try to rehabilitate milk’s reputation on the health side of the equation, and that’s potentially the smarter half to target, as the US dairy industry isn’t getting any greener:

  • The US dairy industry has undergone waves of consolidation in the last 20 years, according to an analysis by The Guardian. That means most of the farms that remain today are big, ecologically problematic, factory farms.
  • “The get big or get out push from our political and industry leaders has come true,” Sarah Lloyd, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, told The Guardian. “And enabling this concentration has led to the withering of small and medium farms.”

A Steer Is Born: If the dairy industry needs a mascot that speaks to Gen Z, it may have found the hero it deserves. A cow in the UK named Doris achieved viral fame last week after her farmer shared footage of her quiet quitting – that is, “pretending” to be asleep to get out of milk duty.