New Milk Industry Ads to Push Value

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The ubiquitous (and unbelievably irritating) “Got Milk?” ads from the earlier part of the decade pushed milk as a healthful beverage, but according to The Consumerist, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that now the industry is changing their focus in light of the economic crunch:

Also Monday, the milk industry will begin running ads touting milk as a bargain. Financial guru Suze Orman will don the familiar milk mustache in a print ad that reads: "Even at today’s prices, a glass of milk only costs about a quarter…." The ad is a big departure from prior "Got Milk" campaigns that focused on the nutritional value of milk.

The milk industry plans to spend just under $1 million on the Suze Orman ads.

I guess that if they’re going to try and top the earlier “Got Milk?” ads for sheer annoyance, bringing in Suze Orman would be the person for the job.

It seems to me that you can’t get much more economical than fruits and vegetables when it comes to bang-for-the-buck health benefits.  Alas, there’s no money in advertising broccoli or tomatoes.

The Leafy Green Growers of America don’t exist, but if they did, they could put out one heck of a counter-ad.

Back to Nature

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I wrote a brief note to Back to Nature (now owned by Kraft) to ask them a simple question about the derivation of the “natural flavors” in their products:

Is your Cherry Vanilla granola vegan? Everything on there looks to be except for the always-questionable “natural flavors.” Are any of these natural flavors animal-derived (including dairy, eggs, or honey)?

Their response:

Hi Ryan,

Thank you for visiting http://www.backtonaturefoods.com.

At this time, we don’t claim any BACK TO NATURE Brand products as “vegan”.

However, in the future, as we re-evaluate the labeling of our products, we may choose to list a vegan status should any of our brands qualify to carry that label.

Thanks for your inquiry about our ingredient lines.

If you haven’t done so already, please add our site to your favorites and visit us again soon!

Kim McMiller
Associate Director, Consumer Relations

For some reason, I think if Back to Nature were still a small company, the response would have been a little bit more informative.

O’Soy Yogurt: Not Vegan

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From the WTF?!!! Files:

This week I picked up some O’Soy yogurt, as I occasionally do. But I was stunned when my wife pointed this out on the label:

O’Soy: Not Vegan

It reads: “Contains milk (our active live cultures are milk-based).”

Perhaps it was naive of me to assume that soy yogurt would be, you know, non-dairy. But I guess you can’t trust a company who makes the bulk of their money from selling milk. Needless to say, there’s no way I’ll be buying any of their products going forward and they’ll definitely be receiving a call at 1-800-PRO-COWS (happy milk!) tomorrow. Might I encourage you to do the same to register your displeasure? And spread the word?

This is either a new thing or something they just decided to start divulging, as I definitely don’t recall seeing this on the label before.

I’m getting to the point where I feel like I can only trust vegan companies. Maybe Chicago Soy Dairy will start making yogurt?

Dairy’s influence

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I was watching TV the other night when an ad for Honey Nut Cheerios came on. It took place at a baseball game and showed a guy sitting in the stands eating cereal with milk pumped into his bowl via a beer-helmet-like device. Notice anything strange about this screenshot?:

Dairy Milk

The milk cartons are labeled “Dairy Milk.” Why? Do cow’s milk containers in the store ever read explicitly “dairy milk”? My guess is that the dairy industry is still angry that soy, nut, and rice beverages are allowed to be sold as “milk” and they somehow worked out a deal to get the generic cartons in this ad to specify “dairy milk” lest anyone think this guy would–*gasp*–be drinking soy milk.

Am I alone in my conspiracy theory here? I’d love to track down the firm behind this ad and ask them about it.