A new multi-million-dollar marketing campaign has begun to educate Australian, Chinese and ultimately U.S consumers on the health benefits of New Zealand’s grass fed dairy products.
The international campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the benefits of consuming milk products from 100% grass fed cows over those raised on grain based diets. It’s all part of the introduction of new Munchkin Grass Fed™ milk-based formula and toddler drinks. Milk matters because it is the key ingredient in infant formula and toddler milk drinks, constituting up to 65% of the powder.
Steve Dunn CEO of California based Munchkin, the world-class infant and toddler product company behind the campaign, says that a premium brand positioning which leverages New Zealand’s natural advantage may offer significant economic benefits for the local dairy industry.
Dunn says that milk from 100% grass fed cows is healthier than milk from grain fed cows, and in the North American market, organic dairy farming relies on a grain based diet.
“With growing demand, the livestock industry has shifted and organic milk is now coming from industrial-scale facilities. In fact, many US organic brands are buying milk from mega-dairies with as many as 10,000 cows on a factory farm.”
“According to the USDA standard, organic-raised cows are only required to live on pasture 30% of the year, and during that time, only a small portion of their diet must be grass. Other feed may be a mixture of silage, corn, gluten and pulp.”
Dunn says the marketing campaign that will include advertising, public relations and social media throughout China, Australia and the U.S. in 2017, aims to communicate the key benefits of the consumption of grass fed milk-based formula products from New Zealand’s grass fed cows.
“Most parents don’t realise that up to 65% of infant and toddler formula is milk or milk by-products, and that 100% grass fed milk contains up to five times the naturally occurring conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to boost immunity and blood sugar regulation, and has higher levels of vitamins A and E, and the ideal ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.”
Dunn says that the first batch of a multi-million dollar formula export order placed with South Island dairy processor Synlait (SML) has shipped.
The deal, which is paying Canterbury farmers a premium of $0.25 per kg for New Zealand milk produced to Munchkin’s own specific standard, comes at a time where industry wide dairy returns have dropped to $3.90 per kg of milk solids as a result of European overproduction.
The grass fed standards set by Munchkin ensure top-quality milk from cows that live and graze in a free range manner year-round, and are milked a maximum of two times per day. Formula sold under the Munchkin Grass Fed brand will be sold in Australia and New Zealand with retailers stocking the product nationwide.
According to Dunn, “Our focus on innovation has yielded 175 product patents on infant and toddler products, however moving into the formula market we saw New Zealand’s dairy technology as world leading and we jumped at the chance to invest here.”
Munchkin has purchased over 5.5 million Synlait shares and is currently Synlait’s fourth largest shareholder. Shares in Synlait which closed today at $3.10 have risen 20% in the past three months.