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Dairy industry crisis: Milk sales turn sour

milk_optPAM LOBLEY

Milk business in the U.S. is struggling.  Per capita consumption has fallen 30% since 1975.  As reported in the Wall Street Journal, part of this decline is due to the high price of milk.  At my supermarket, it’s well over $3 a gallon.

I know that because I buy three or more gallons a week.  I have two teenage boys, and a husband who often skips lunch and comes home starving.  We go through a lot of milk.

Other reasons that milk drinking is declining is that children represent a smaller part of the U.S. population than they previously did and they are normally the primary consumers of milk.  Vitamin waters, energy drinks and all kinds of tea-related drinks dominate the market these days, and people seem to prefer those.  Why?  Because they’re cool.

As I see it, this is milk’s main problem.  Milk is square.  Milk is Mitt Romney.  Vitamin Water is Obama.  You know how the country voted.

I am a total fan of milk.  It quenches thirst, takes the edge off hunger, gives you calcium and protein and, way less sugar than vitamin water or soda.  Low fat is just as delicious as regular.

Milk does not create mucus in your system unless you are allergic to it.  I’m not going to fight about it with you, read what the National Institute of Health says about it here.  People argue that milk has hormones, chemicals or antibiotics.  Even if that’s true, soda is way worse for you than milk and it doesn’t stop people from drinking their way to diabetes with it.

Nobody really cares if it’s good or bad for them – they want it to taste good and be cool.  Milk needs a makeover.

First, they need to get rid of that disgusting mustache campaign.  We all know that crud they paint on the celebrities lips is not really pure milk anyway, and it’s simply gross.  Would McDonald’s run an ad that has French Fry crumbs in a guy’s beard and ketchup on his tie?

Second, milk needs to come in small, portable bottles that cost way too much money.  Teens and young adults like nothing more than to overpay for something cheap (water, coffee) that comes in cool packaging and carry it around like a fashion accessory.

Third, it needs a name.  You can’t call it milk, but you also can’t get too cute with it, either.  Avoid words like “moo”, “cow”, or “dairy”.   Uncool.   Go for words like “energy”, “boost”, or “fitness.”

Finally, they need a cool celebrity.  I like Whoopi Goldberg, but she’s no longer a young hip comedian, she’s a lady on “The View” that stay-at-home moms watch on TV.  Beyonce just signed a big deal with Pepsi.  Sodas know how to pick cool celebrities.

Channing Tatum, with this shirt off, drinking his new “FitnesSip”.  Your welcome, Milk.

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column.  Check out her blog:  Better Living Through Chaos! Follow her on twitter @plobley.

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