Saint Paul, Minn. – Midwest Dairy announced registration is now open for the third annual Dairy Experience Forum to be held virtually on Wednesday, July 15. This one-day, online event will take place in three, 90-minute segments, featuring industry experts who will share actionable consumer insights, future forecasting and thought leadership – all to help the dairy supply chain drive demand during today’s rapidly changing food and beverage climate. Discussions will address questions such as “How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted food and beverage trends?” and “What’s next for dairy?”
“Building on the foundation of the past two Dairy Experience Forum events, we’re proud to bring representatives from the entire dairy supply chain together once again, especially given current circumstances and the rapidly changing shopping habits of consumers,” said Molly Pelzer, CEO, Midwest Dairy. “During these challenging times, it’s crucial we remain at the forefront of inspiring thought provoking conversations that will drive dairy innovation and fuel dairy demand. We’re excited to bring this virtual format that will offer people across our 10-state region the opportunity to join these dynamic discussions from the comfort of their own home.”
The 2020 Dairy Experience Forum will begin with a live consumer focus group where attendees will hear first-hand from consumers about how they make their purchasing decisions, how their shopping behaviors may have changed due to COVID-19 and their thoughts around dairy products and farming. Following the focus group, there will be virtual small group breakout sessions to discuss the information that was shared and brainstorm how the supply chain can learn from and use these key learnings to continue to connect with consumers and increase demand.
Other presentations will include:
- “The New Normal: Post-COVID-19 and the Dairy Category,” presentation from Larry Levin, Executive Vice President of Market and Shopper Intelligence at IRI. With milk currently one of the top 10 fastest growing e-commerce categories – it’s up 279 percent from one year ago – and dairy outpacing total store dollar growth since the beginning of the pandemic, Levin will explore areas of opportunity for maintaining the category growth seen in-store and online during the pandemic.
- The Environmental Solutions Panel, comprised of a dairy farmer, cooperative processor and consumer branded product manufacturer will discuss how dairy is the environmental solution when it comes to producing food that is good for consumers and good for the planet, digging into the industry’s 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals.
- Food trend expert Mike Lee will take a deep dive into how the 21st century eater is shaping the future of food and dairy, as consumers disrupt the marketplace and demand that food fulfills their needs at the intersection of health, sustainability and experience.
- “The Secret to Navigating Change,” will come from Harris Ill, who will share about how important it is to tell your own story to create clarity and navigate change.
“This annual event provides important insights that spark continued conversations with dairy farmers and the dairy supply chain for months to come. It also provides an opportunity for us to come together and discuss how we can collaborate to build a strong future,” said Allen Merrill, Corporate Board Chairman, Midwest Dairy. “I look forward to this year’s lineup of experts that are sure to push us outside of our comfort zones and move the dairy community forward together.”
Dairy farmers and industry members alike can register by visiting www.dairyexperienceforum.com.