The dairy checkoff’s partnership with McDonald’s has been internationally recognized as the top generic marketing campaign by The International Milk Promotion (IMP) Group, a task force within the International Dairy Federation (IDF). The IMP Group sponsors the worldwide competition to showcase the best generic campaign globally to dairy industry delegates attending the recent IDF World Dairy Summit in Parma, Italy.

It is the first time since the award’s inception in 1989 that a “non-advertising” campaign entry has won.

“This international honor provides further validation that the dairy checkoff’s goal of shifting our business strategy from generic advertising to working with leading partners such as McDonald’s is on target,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff.

The dairy checkoff’s entry tells the story of how the checkoff works with McDonald’s, one of the world’s most globally recognized companies, to offer consumers great-tasting, nutritious dairy-based menu options. The dairy checkoff has helped grow McDonald’s into a “dairy destination,” beginning in 2004 with the introduction of Milk Jugs – kid-friendly, re-sealable, 8-ounce plastic containers of low-fat white or chocolate milk.

Since then, the dairy checkoff has worked with McDonald’s to launch various dairy-friendly offerings at the chain’s 14,000-plus locations in the U.S. McDonald’s has invested store renovations to accommodate new equipment for its specialty beverages, advertising, marketing, and in-store promotions.


The current three-year partnership led the introduction of new dairy-friendly menu offerings, including:
• McCafé, which features several varieties of specialty coffee drinks in which milk is the dominant ingredient
• Frappés, made with 50 percent dairy
• Improved shakes topped with real whipped cream
• Angus Third Pounder sandwiches, which use two slices of cheese
• Real Fruit Smoothies with low-fat yogurt

Additionally, the dairy checkoff has six employees at the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, including three dairy scientists, a chef, a nutrition advisor and a marketing manager. This arrangement fosters dairy checkoff involvement in all stages of new product innovation and in-store launches – making dairy front and center at McDonald’s.

“The successful introduction of milk in plastic bottles was a critical step forward in helping both McDonald’s and milk producers across the country understand the tremendous power of working together. The partnership moved ahead from there, resulting in an entire series of innovative products,” said Tom Gallagher, DMI chief executive officer. PD

—From Dairy Management Inc. news release