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Annual Scorecard

Preview of 2023 scorecard

2023 Annual Scorecard

Midwest Dairy produces an annual scorecard measuring outcomes across several business and foundational goals, including increasing dairy sales, growing trust in dairy, and more.

Keep reading the 2023 Midwest Dairy Scorecard to see how your dairy checkoff investment performed.

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2023 increasing sales results

Increasing Sales

Midwest Dairy encountered several challenges that impacted sales results for 2023, causing us to miss our goals. The carryover of fourth quarter 2022 holiday activations into our 2023 reporting cycle coincided with peak inflation periods, sharply depressing our total results for the year. This downturn continued into 2023. Ongoing changes in retail consumer buying behaviors, particularly in retail, led to key activations falling short of expectations as consumers increasingly turned to food service. Because we suspended our work to provide grant funding to schools due to the inability of schools to provide reportable results, there were no new school sales projects in 2023, and little data reported in year-over-year measurement. Learning from 2023, our future strategy will prioritize addressing retail challenges and leveraging insights to drive growth, focusing on the five largest retailers in our region and aiming to increase our goal for food service.

2023 scorecard advancing research

Advancing Research

We exceeded our goal of helping sales partners and processors improve business decisions with the use of dairy checkoff research and insights, particularly emphasizing the value of consumer insights in retail partnerships for product planning, recipe promotion, and limited-time offers. Our contributions spanned from startups to large processors, offering market trend data and consumer insights crucial for navigating market shifts and shaping future products and strategies. Furthermore, the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center’s application scientists were instrumental in supporting a new ice cream product launch, underlining our broad impact across product development and strategic planning.

2023 grow trust in dairy

Grow Trust

We exceeded our target of 225 activations over the strategic plan’s three-year period, engaging with health and environmental leaders such as WIC programs, rural healthcare systems, water quality organizations, university faculty, and physician groups. These collaborations communicated the nutritional and environmental benefits of dairy to both their peers and consumers. In the third year of engaging youth partners, our projects and outreach expanded significantly, surpassing our engagement goals through initiatives like museum collaborations, high school programs, and the Adopt a Cow program.

Our consumer sentiment surveys have shown stable perceptions regarding dairy’s health benefits, safety, and environmental impact, with scores fluctuating by no more than three points. The 2023 survey revealed a sharp decline in belief the dairy industry looks out for consumers’ best interests—which is consistent with broader consumer skepticism towards industries of all types. Because of this we will address specific consumer concerns through our new strategic plan, including setting the record straight on antibiotic and hormone use, animal care, and environmental practices.

2023 create advocates

Create Advocates

Keeping dairy farmers informed about their checkoff investment is important to our board and staff. This year, we exceeded our goal by concentrating on refining our database of active farmers and continuing our farmer meetings to enhance understanding and advocacy of checkoff among farmers. Going forward, we will continue to emphasize farm visits as an important way to connect with Midwest Dairy dairy farmers.

2023 develop leaders

Develop Leaders

Midwest Dairy prioritizes developing farm and community leaders for dairy to help more farmers share their story with consumers and be prepared for future leadership positions.​​ ​​Midwest Dairy exceeded all goals for this objective.

2023 enhance culture

Enhance Culture

Employee engagement is the fuel for success in meeting our goals for the rest of the strategic plan. Higher employee engagement correlates to better business outcomes. Midwest Dairy’s overall engagement score has remained consistently above national averages during three years of tracking.