Food In Canada

The Milk is the Message

By Jack Kohane   

Business Operations Food Trends Dairy ice cream marketing milk

Though the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s new promotional campaign may seem like preaching to the converted, Jason Wortzman, Sales and Marketing director for Bothwell Cheese, feels it’s vital that every consumer understand that not all products sold in the cheese and dairy cabinets at their local supermarket are the “real thing.”

“Most Canadian consumers may not know which products are made from 100-per-cent Canadian milk,” says New Bothwell, Man.-based Wortzman. “There’s an increase of imported products coming into Canada, and while most consumers already believe our product is a better quality, we want to reinforce that belief.”

The campaign, which launched late last month and advertised coast to coast through billboards, TV advertising, retail promotion, a prominent web presence and a wide range of promotion material, is aimed at identifying and heightening consumer understanding about Canadian dairy products. The new brand builds on the equity in the previous “quality milk” signature, and while the familiar blue cow symbol on the outer package is still in place, the revamped version has the animal encircled by the phrase “100% Canadian Milk.”

It’s an image that’s meant to bolster the message about the quality of the product produced by the country’s dairy farmers. “It’s part of a strategy that fits in with what consumers are thinking in terms of buying local,” says Ian MacDonald, the director of Marketing and Nutrition for the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC). “Over the last 10 years, our Quality Milk brand did a great job of building an understanding among consumers that Canadian dairy products are synonymous with quality. The explicit clarity of the new 100-per-cent Canadian milk brand responds to growing consumer demand to clearly identify the origin of all food products on the package.”


Although DFC has been employing the Quality Milk logo for several years, focusing primarily on milk, too few Canadians understood it was intended to communicate the idea of “Canadian” and “dairy products.” Research shows 80 per cent of this country’s consumers believe Canadian milk and dairy products are the best in the world. And, says the DFC, there’s good reason for that. Canadian milk is produced under highly regulated animal welfare practices, it must meet high government standards, it is produced locally by environmentally responsible farms, and it’s free of antibiotics or chemicals. And, according to research by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), most of the milk in Canada travels less than 100 miles to market. “By adopting the new Canadian Milk brand, farmers and processors are making a commitment that dairy products featuring the brand on their packaging are made from 100-per-cent Canadian milk,” says MacDonald. “This is good for consumers concerned about where their food is coming from.”

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