The nation’s two leading dairy organizations applauded the introduction of a bipartisan bill to help reverse the decline of milk consumption in schools.
The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017, would allow schools to offer low-fat and fat-free milk, including flavored milk with no more than 150 calories per 8-ounce serving, to participants in the federal school lunch and breakfast programs. The bill allows individual schools and school districts to determine which milkfat varieties to offer their students.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) strongly support the bill and encourage Congress to pass it.
The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association urged members of Congress to insist that the United States request a more thorough analysis of a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal seeking to discourage parents from feeding toddlers milk and certain dairy products.
At the beginning of the year, the WHO issued “Ending Inappropriate Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children,” a guidance document urging the prohibition of the promotion and marketing of various milk products for children up to age three.
“The WHO guidance document is a de facto criticism of all milk consumption by toddlers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This flies in the face of all credible, international nutrition research, and would confuse consumers across the globe.”
The consultants believe U.S. dairy companies should consider four strategic responses – global growth, growth beyond traditional business models, insight-driven innovation, and operational and performance excellence – to capture growth in the current evolving environment.
Some manufacturers, they said, will grow by capturing share in the global market and employing “best-in-class” international export and local production capabilities. Other companies, excited about the prospects of ingredients and product categories beyond traditional dairy, will succeed by redefining their businesses and broadening their consumer bases. Targeting these markets will require “fit-for-purpose divisions” and tightly focused sales.
Noting that consumer preferences, particularly among Millennials, are evolving faster than ever before, Carbonneau and Meilhac explained the benefits of insight-driven innovation. Companies with top-notch consumer insight and product development capabilities can win consumers over through innovative product portfolios, they said.