June 14, 2021 at 2:45 p.m.
That is why Dairy Management Inc. is turning to gaming and other online ventures to share about dairy products and dairy farms to Generation Z, which ranges in ages 10 to 23. During a webinar May 24, DMI explained its initiatives directed at Gen Z.
“They have mostly grown up online,” said Barbara O’Brien, DMI president. “They have information at their fingertips. They’re digitally savvy, and they’re willing to share their data in exchange for a more personalized experience – personalized content and recommendations made just for them.”
Plus, this group has an estimated spending power of $100 billion, said O’Brien.
“From what we know about how this generation wants to change the world, they’re changing expectations of brands and how they’re willing to spend their money on brands that are doing good and doing right in their view,” she said. “It can have an enormous impact on dairy and on other categories.”
This generation also likes balance when it comes to food.
“Healthy eating to them means feeding their body what it needs but also what it craves which gives us an enormous opportunity to feature both nutrition and indulgence in the products we put in front of this generation,” O’Brien said.
Sharing information with gamers is one of the initiatives DMI has implemented this year, said Anne Warden, executive vice president of strategic integration for DMI.
“We are tapping into their love of video gaming to capture their attention and show them how dairy products fit really well in that growing occasion in their days,” Warden said.
A large majority – 90% – of Gen Z games.
“They are less interested in the particulars of vitamins and minerals in a food or beverage and more interested in what that food is going to do for their body and how it’s going to make them feel,” Warden said. “Our research has found that some of dairy’s biggest opportunities to win with Gen Z is by positioning as a food that will sustain their energy throughout the day or let them feel relaxed, recharged while doing the things they love.”
That is how the new campaign called “Beat the lag” started.
“It is about how dairy foods and beverages can give gamers an energy boost or a tasty pick-me-up during a long stretch of gaming,” Warden said.
Lag is a gaming term for when a game slows down or graphics do not load.
“We think human gamers can have their own lag going on and dairy is the way to help them beat that,” Warden said.
DMI is partnering with two popular gaming influencers, Jordan Maron and Rosanna Pansino, to talk about dairy foods and the benefits they can give a person’s body.
“They’re going to help us get millions of their fans coming up with their own ideas for what dairy snacks help them beat that human lag,” Warden said. “They’ve turned it into a contest where people would win gaming prizes.”
The contest, which started and ended in May, had 3 million views by the third week of the month, which beat the industry average engagement rates.
“We clearly have some amazing momentum on this front,” Warden said.
Maron said working with DMI made sense for him because of his love for cheese on his pizza and cream-based drinks. The popular Minecraft gamer, known online as CaptainSparklez, took a virtual tour of Nevin Lemos’ 400-cow dairy near Waterford, California.
“I’ve never been on a dairy farm before so I was going in blind and it was cool to see. (Lemos) is younger than me, and he manages this entire dairy farm,” Maron said. “It was nice to see the cows have a lot of room to live their lives. They were very excited to be milked. ... All in all, it looked like a nice place for the animals.”
Lemos was happy to share his dairy farm with Maron.
“I was very impressed with him wanting to understand the business as a system,” said Lemos, who started his dairy farm four years ago at the age of 20. “We focus so much on animals’ care and conveying that and the importance of it to the consumer but to see Jordan’s special interest in the business side was interesting. He was always a step ahead of me on his questions. I think it’s that gamer mentality. You level up and things are systematic.”
As a part of Gen Z, Lemos thinks people in his generation want more authentic interaction.
“Gen Z is straying away from the amount of influence they would take from Hollywood celebrities, and they really value these YouTube personalities, these influencers because it’s more on a real level with them,” he said. “They like to follow people who are real.”
From these partnerships, DMI hopes to reach consumers in the ways they need.
“It’s not a one-way street,” O’Brien said. “This allows for an authentic exchange and engagement with content. It’s today’s new form of advertising.”