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Inside look at dairy innovation

A panel dedicated to the dairy category at the upcoming Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages includes speakers from Albertsons, Dairy Management Inc. and Fair Trade USA.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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For decades private label milk has dominated the dairy category, leading in dollar share and unit share. In fact, recent numbers from NielsenIQ in concert with the Private Label Manufacturers Association pegged a nearly 60% dollar share last year and 63% unit share.

But it doesn’t mean the category can just sit back and not innovate. A featured panel at the upcoming Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages is focusing on dairy, looking at how new dairy-free alternatives are shaking up the category, how ethical sourcing is playing a role, how dairy farmers are handling conditions today, and much more.

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The virtual event features three leading minds in the category: 

Elizabeth Guthrie, senior director of product management, Own Brands for Albertsons — a leader of the dairy, refrigerated and frozen business at Albertsons, she’s been with the private brand team for more than a decade. Guthrie brings to the panel expertise in product management and innovation and to a category that claims Lucerne, a store brand milk brand that’s been in business for more than 115 years.

Along with its Open Nature brand, Albertsons has innovated with dairy-free and plant-based alternatives, too.

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Jacqi Coleman, senior vice president, partnerships, Dairy Management Inc. — a leader with DMI’s Kroger partnership, Coleman and the association has been stepping up to address food insecurity, and Coleman sits on the environmental team building partnerships to reach 2050 Net Zero Environmental goals. DMI is funded by America’s 37,000-plus dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers, and is a strategic consultant and resource to businesses and organizations in the food and beverage sector that seek to increase sales and raise their image through the innovative use of dairy and dairy ingredients.

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Molly Renaldo, partnerships manager at Fair Trade USA — The organization recently scored a first with branded partner Chobani, working together to launch a groundbreaking certification program for U.S. dairy farms and cooperatives that provides financial premiums to dairy farmers and workers, which will help protect and empower them while raising sustainability standards. Renaldo worked hand-in-hand with Chobani on the program and can speak to getting private label programs involved in dairy. Renaldo leads account strategy with brand partners sourcing Fair Trade Certified ingredients for their products and development of its newest innovation, the U.S. dairy category. She has presented at the G7 Agricultural Summit, the World Coconut Congress, and other CPG industry events.

Registration is open for the virtual forum which will also feature panels on nonalcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages, and coffee and tea.

Click to register