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Reaching Generation Z through influencers

March 31, 2023


5 minute read

Generation Z (Gen Z) has been a target audience for Midwest Dairy in 2022 and will continue to be critical in the future. We focus on Gen Z because we have a significant opportunity to grow sales and trust for dairy with this age group. Research shows that average daily milk consumption begins to decline for young adolescents and continues to fall into adulthood. If we don’t reach Gen Z where they are now, they’ll turn to other foods and beverages that align with their wants, needs, and values. 

To successfully reach Gen Z, we target the channels they use daily, like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, to gain a large reach and earn engagement. Because Gen Z spends over 10 hours daily engaging with content online, Midwest Dairy works with social influencers who already have other Gen Z followers.  

In 2022 Midwest Dairy partnered with five influencers to incorporate dairy good messages monthly into their content to reach their thousands of social media followers. Posts included new recipes, family activities, and simple ways to enjoy dairy. The goal was to generate conversations and impact their already established audience so that they can feel good consuming dairy.  

One way to measure the impact of this work is to look at impressions and engagements. Impressions are simply the number of times people see our content. Our work with influencers averaged about 630,000 impressions each month. Engagements are the reactions to the content, including likes, comments, and shares. We got the conversation started as we saw many comments about these influencers’ posts, such as “That bowl has all the healthy goods!” and even more personal comments, such as “My grandma always made us a whole milk strawberry smoothie. They were good! I miss them.” Comments like these let us know we are reminding consumers that it’s ok to enjoy dairy because it’s good for them and they can feel good consuming it because it’s good for the environment.  

We saw outstanding success partnering with Valerie Garcia, better known as @thosegarciagirls to her 25.2K followers on Instagram. Garcia’s platform is dedicated to her motherhood journey, recipes, travel tips, and fashion. She is a Kansas City-based influencer whose Instagram is full of photos of her and her daughter, Leighton, living life. One of her most successful dairy-inspired posts had over 400 likes. In this post, she showcased a day well spent at the farmers market supporting local farmers. She purchased products such as raspberry jam, cheese, and milk produced locally at grocery store and enjoyed them with her daughter during a picnic on the way home. She shared appealing photos of the picnic and shared dairy facts, including each gallon of milk produced required 90 percent less land and 65 percent less water, with a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint than it did almost 70 years ago. Garcia helped Midwest Dairy start the conversation and authentically showcase how to enjoy dairy products, making her a great fit as an influencer.    

Midwest Dairy also utilized athletic influencers through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Fuel Up to Play 60 is all about educators, students, and partners working together to make a difference in schools and communities. Through the program, students learn that fueling their bodies with nutritious food like dairy throughout the day gives them the energy they need to be their best. In addition, Fuel Up to Play 60 provides educational resources for students to learn more about where their food comes from, the people behind it, and how it is made with care for the planet. Many resources and deliverables have been created for teachers to use in the classroom and Midwest Dairy has partnered with athlete influencers to spread dairy’s story.  

Many of the NFL athletes we partner with are also highly passionate about nutrition and physical activity programs that encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. Because these passions align well with Midwest Dairy’s goals, these relationships have allowed everyone involved to bring the health benefits of dairy to today’s youth as part of our Fuel Up to Play 60 contract, Midwest Dairy engaged more in social media to showcase fun ways to incorporate dairy into everyday life. This led us to partner with The Viking Entertainment Network, which is always looking for creative ways to work with partners to showcase the players off the field to resonate better with fans of all ages. 

Midwest Dairy brought in two culinary students from Burnsville High School to join two Viking defensive tackles, Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips, in a charcuterie board challenge. Remi Famodu, the Viking’s registered dietitian, also participated as the judge. This contest was taped and then shared on social platforms. The video was released on Facebook and Twitter right before Christmas and reached over 127,000 fans and acquired 471 engagements between the two channels. Tomlinson and the Burnsville School district retweeted on their Twitter page as well. This was a fun and authentic way to showcase player personalities and student culinary skills while promoting cheese’s deliciousness and versatility. 

Fuel Up to Play 60 partnered with former Kansas City Chiefs player JuJu Smith-Schuster through the My Cause My Cleats program. The program allows NFL players from across the league to reveal their passions beyond football by sharing and wearing their hearts on their feet. Smith-Schuster cleats featured a dairy cow pattern to support Fuel Up to Play 60. He has a long-standing relationship with Fuel Up to Play 60 and enjoys helping kids understand the importance of healthy eating and exercise habits early in life. Click here to view the Facebook video reel highlighting their fun and creatively designed cleats supporting Fuel Up to Play 60. 

Gen Z and the parents of Gen Z are an important audience to reach, and Midwest Dairy is committed to continuing to promote the dairy category as a source of comfort, enjoyment, and nutrition to all.