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Providing virtual checkoff resources to retail partners

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|4 minute read

Checkoff resources were hard at work in 2022 as we armed retail partners with innovative ways to drive dairy sales at the virtual dairy case. With nearly 54 percent of consumers buying groceries online, bringing dairy to the forefront of the digital shopping space is crucial. Midwest Dairy has been exploring opportunities to do just that by using landing pages and creating new and unique recipes to pique consumers’ interest in dairy.  

A landing page is an individual webpage used to promote or educate about a specific topic. A website starts with a homepage, where the shopping journey begins. A customer can then search for more information which could take them to a landing page. Research shows that landing pages can be very effective with shoppers because they can offer engaging product or category information, including videos, recipes, and nutrition information. Landing pages also help by providing navigation buttons that lead visitors to the “Add to Cart” feature to complete their purchases.  

In 2022 Midwest Dairy partnered with Hy-Vee, a large grocery and drug store chain, with 280 locations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, to bring dairy to life through online landing pages. We worked with Hy-Vee to create three Dairy Landing Pages for consumers via Hy-Vee AislesOnline. The AislesOnline landing page is designed to give the consumer an easy shopping experience and promote dairy products in different ways.  

The Dairy Landing Page was updated throughout the year to showcase timely themes and provide new information about dairy. Each landing page included links to key dairy products sold at Hy-Vee, including butter, cheese, milk, creamers, and yogurt, and highlighted links to dairy items that Hy-Vee had on promotion. In addition, different fresh and flavorful recipes utilizing popular dairy items were displayed.  

The theme of the first landing page incorporated the “Sustainability Starts with Us” campaign and educated consumers about milk being sourced from local farm families. The landing page called out the delicious, nutritious, and sustainable side of dairy. It included videos highlighting farmers’ passion for the environment, animal care, and their community. The second theme, “FUNctional for all: Fuel your fun with the nutritional benefits of dairy,” launched in July and showed how dairy could be part of family fun. This page included a video discussing how dairy could make a difference in people’s health because of its unique nutritional value and featured recipes, and dairy items on promotion. The final landing page of the year was “Season’s greetings from dairy! Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with dairy.” This holiday-themed landing page included a video from Dr. Erin Cortus discussing how dairy farmers are innovating to make products more sustainable along with holiday recipes, and dairy items on promotion.  

By collaborating with Hy-Vee, we drove awareness to this page through social influencers, key search word links, and monthly advertising, including email blasts and banner ads. As a result, the total reach of all three landing pages was almost 7.5 million customers!   

Midwest Dairy also prioritized creating new and unique recipes to connect with shoppers in 2022. It is important to showcase how dairy products can be enjoyed throughout the day in many ways. Research shows that consumers are always looking for new recipes, so we work with our partners to understand their shoppers and their needs. For example, some partners look for quick and simple recipes during back-to-school mornings. Midwest Dairy provided dairy recipes that fit the bill, allowing partners to reach out to their dairy vendor community for promotions on ingredients featured in our recipes. The goal is to show consumers different ways to incorporate dairy into their diet in a nutritious and delicious way that could become a family favorite. 

Price Chopper, a Kansas City-based retailer with over 50 locations in Kansas and Missouri, partnered with Midwest Dairy to celebrate Earth Day. They promoted sustainability messaging with new and delicious recipes developed by Ariel Johnston, registered dietitian of the Tasty Balance. The recipes created included Honey-Whipped Ricotta and Strawberry Toast, Feta Chicken Wrap, and Vanilla French Toast with Honey Butter. These recipes were then shared along with “What You Do Dairy Does Too” messaging to Price Chopper’s followers through email and social posts showcasing on-farm sustainability practices. One recipe was also featured in Price Chopper’s weekly print and digital circular ad along with sustainability messaging. Lastly, their quarterly Gatherings magazine featured a full-page ad featuring Ariel’s Honey Whipped Ricotta and Strawberry Toast recipe.  

Fifteen new and dairy-centric recipes were also created and added to Hy-Vee’s website in 2022. These recipes include S’mores Overnight Oats, Apricot Brie, and Hot and Sweet Grilled Cheese. These recipes were shoppable, allowing consumers to quickly add dairy ingredients to their online grocery cart from the recipe page.  

Partners view Midwest Dairy as an industry expert who can provide resources and research to better reach consumers. We are committed to bringing dairy products to the forefront of the virtual dairy case and showcasing the resources checkoff can provide to retailers to drive dairy sales in their stores.