A smartphone app offering rebates on groceries is expecting an increase in its dairy product rebates by 20 percent in June. That’s welcome news for an industry celebrating the consumption of dairy products this month.

Two million Ibotta app users redeemed rebates in May on more than 600,000 gallons of fluid milk alone. The rebates offer consumers $.20 back on any gallon of milk purchased. The app has proven to be a disruptive technology to traditional paper coupons, which generated once-off dairy purchases in the past. Ibotta’s Richard Donahue says the app has shown it can educate consumers and encourage repeat purchases.

“Our ability to tell a brand’s story, such as the unique benefits of the product, or to educate a mobile user about the product leads to higher follow-on purchase rates,” Donahue claims.

Ibotta’s increased rebate redemptions during June are expected to come from two sources: growth in the app’s user base and the addition of a new feature. The app recently launched “any brand” rebates, which allows consumers to gain rebates on specific product lines regardless of the brand name they purchase. For example, in June all yogurt products are eligible for a rebate if they meet the any brand rebate offering’s minimum purchase size requirements.

The manufacturer pays for brand-name product rebates; however, rebates claimed under the any brand program are funded by Ibotta and by other advertising partners looking to engage with consumers.


While many of the most interesting technology advances to dairy owners and managers in recent years have focused on improving farm efficiency and reducing cost, the use of mobile technology to sell dairy products is certainly an exciting development for producers.

The user profile of the app is significantly younger than those using traditional paper coupons. About 90 percent of the app’s users are less than 45 years old, with 80 percent reporting they have children in the family.

To redeem rebates, these tech savvy consumers must complete simple “game like” interactions on the app and upload a photo of their receipt before a rebate can be claimed and redeemed through a PayPal account. Brands can utilize the app’s “trivia” or “poll” interactions to gather market information about brands or product categories from consumers.

Manufacturers can utilize the educational aspect of the app to inform consumers of the benefits of specific products or dairy in general. “For instance, we can help explain why a ‘glass of milk a day’ or ‘a cup of yogurt as an afternoon pick-me-up’ can be a great part of a healthy diet. Or we can go a step further and showcase dairy in recipes during key seasons,” Donahue says.

Additional “bonus” interactions offer consumers chances to earn cash rebates by completing designated tasks, like purchasing two different types of the same product.

To date, 2 million users per month have received rebates when shopping at 147 grocery stores and major retail chains nationwide.

So let’s raise a glass (of milk) to June Dairy Month and increased dairy sales! PD

GRAPHIC: Screenshot taken June 11, 2015, from the Ibotta app.