Midwest Dairy museum partnerships build trust with Millennial parents and Gen Z

After turning back to dairy for comfort, enjoyment and nutrition during the pandemic, Millennial parents and Gen Z have solidified the crucial role they’ll play in the future success of dairy. Reaching millennial parents – and by proxy, their children, many of whom belong to Gen Z – will be key to continue building consumer trust and in driving dairy demand.

Millennials, those born between 1981-1996, recently overtook the baby boomer generation as the largest consumer demographic. Gen Z is right behind them, making up 20% of the population. Born between 1997-2021, members of Gen Z are entering a phase of life where they are making their own choices about how and what they consume. When it comes to making these decisions, this highly skeptical group puts much of their trust in third-party sources, who they turn to for information about how dairy is produced and how it fits a healthy lifestyle.

While many of the tried and true approaches to reach Millennial and Gen Z consumers are still in play, new, diversified strategies for telling dairy’s sustainable nutrition story have become key in continuing to build trust with these future dairy consumers.

One of the ways Midwest Dairy is doing this is through strategic partnerships with museums across our 10-state region, which provides a tremendous opportunity to share information about dairy with museum-goers, most of which arrive with an open mind, an eagerness to learn and an already established trust with the museum.

Some examples of current museum partnerships include:

  • The Gateway to Science Museum in Bismarck, North Dakota, which is set to open in late 2021, will feature a dairy display that highlights the technology used in on-farm animal care. 
  • The Science Museum of Minnesota is creating a new food experience exhibit that will feature agriculture, food security and food systems and will showcase the sustainable nutrition story of dairy. As part of this exhibit, Midwest Dairy is creating educational videos around sustainability and dairy nutrition and is also collaborating on a series of educational opportunities for museum members and donors that will allow participants to take a deep dive into topics related to on-farm sustainability, climate and dairy nutrition.
  • The Kearney Area Children’s Museum, in partnership with Midwest Dairy, renovated its farm zone with a new space that includes a major focus on dairy production. The exhibit highlights where food comes from, occupations in agriculture, the impact of agriculture on the community, and more.
  • Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City features an outdoor agricultural exhibit that helps connect museum-goers with dairy’s sustainability story through interactive components where guests can test their dairy knowledge and insert themselves into a dairy farm scene to explore and learn more about life on the farm.
  • Midwest Dairy sponsored an interactive dairy exhibit at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis that features dairy cows, along with family-friendly learning stations that highlighted information about animal care and on-farm dairy practices. For two evenings during National Dairy Month, called Friday Nights at the Farm, guests enjoyed visits from local dairy farmers and family-friendly activities. For many visitors, this was the first time they’ve seen cows up close.

Partnerships with museums across the region will continue to play an important role in sharing dairy’s farm-to-table story with the next generation of dairy consumers who will continue to see dairy as irreplaceable in their grocery carts and in their day-to-day lives.