In the digital era, ecommerce has transformed the traditional shopping experience by offering online platforms to buy and sell everything from food to specialized services. Dairy MAX leveraged the new Gen Z-focused brand, Level Unlocked, to drive dairy sales through an ecommerce campaign on Instacart, an online grocery shopping and delivery platform. The activation is highlighted by a return on ad spend (ROAS) of $11.96, almost six times higher than the industry benchmark of $2.00. Sponsored display ads during National Ice Cream Month achieved ROAS of $20.27.

Ecommerce offers a dynamic platform to showcase dairy foods, and Dairy MAX’s strategic decision to use Instacart meets consumers where they are. The Instacart campaign, which ran July through September, promoted dairy foods like cheese, chocolate milk and yogurt. Additionally, advertisements in July focused on National Ice Cream Month, promoting the sweet treat on the Instacart website and mobile app through in-line sponsored products and shoppable display ads.

“The buying power of Gen Z totals $360 billion,” said Candace Bell, business development manager for Dairy MAX. “We harnessed that economic power for our dairy farm families, showcasing to Gen Z that dairy can be healthy, economical and fun.”

Dairy MAX’s integration of social media influencers, who actively promoted dairy on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, significantly contributed to the success of the campaign. These influencers’ posts directed followers to the custom Level Unlocked Instacart landing page, converting social media engagement into dairy purchasers. Additionally, the esports influencers encouraged their fans to visit the Level Unlocked Instacart landing page to purchase dairy foods during gaming livestreams on Twitch. The campaign resulted in nearly $600,000 in dairy sales, with sponsored products and display ads garnering more than two million impressions.

The online grocery market has been steadily growing, driven by factors such as convenience, busy lifestyles and the desire to reduce the time and effort required for traditional in-store shopping. The pandemic accelerated this growth as more people turned to online shopping to avoid crowded stores, but the use of grocery ecommerce has proven to have staying power far beyond the pandemic. A 2023 survey conducted by Morning Consult revealed that 74% of Gen Z shoppers continue to opt for online channels when purchasing groceries, underscoring the lasting appeal of grocery ecommerce. Further, consumers trust individuals over brands. According to Matter Communications’ 2023 Influencer Survey, 69% of consumers trust recommendations from an individual, including influencers, over that of a brand.


As Dairy MAX continues to navigate evolving consumer behavior, recognizing the significance of online platforms and individual voices is imperative for establishing trust and maintaining relevance. The success of this ecommerce initiative provides a valuable blueprint for future campaigns and calls for continued innovation in consumer engagement strategies.