Dairy Checkoff Seeks to Spark Innovation With Entrepreneurs at Trade Show

ROSEMONT, Ill.  – The dairy checkoff will showcase dairy innovation and its overall nutrition package to more than 70,000 people attending the country’s leading trade show in the natural, organic and healthy products industry.

A Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) team will be onsite at the Natural Products Expo West event, March 12-16 in Anaheim, Calif., with the goal of spurring dairy innovation among entrepreneurs, investors and others seeking to grow their food and beverage business. This will be the checkoff’s first time at the event.

“We want dairy to show up and show up in a big way,” said Marla Buerk, executive vice president of innovation for DMI. “It typically is the non-dairy alternative companies at this event, but this is the biggest natural foods show and we’re the biggest natural food besides vegetables.

“It just makes sense to be there to feature all of the great innovation that’s happening in dairy and the nutrient package we bring to the table.”

Among DMI’s goals at Expo West is to share a new checkoff-created tool designed to help entrepreneurs: www.InnovateWithDairy.com. This tool serves as a one-stop shop for anyone seeking information about the dairy innovation process, from concept and product development and all the way through launching in market.

Users will have access to more than 250 vetted dairy resources, including many leading researchers and professors who comprise the Dairy Foods Research Centers network. The checkoff created the network more than 35 years ago to provide science-backed solutions related to processing, technology solutions, food quality and safety, ingredients and other areas.

DMI also will feature innovative dairy products at its booth to inspire attendees of what is possible with dairy. Those innovations are:

  • Dairy-based creamers made with only five simple ingredients and no oils or fillers.
  • Lactose-free, ultra-filtered milk with more protein and less sugar.
  • New super premium ice cream featuring crunchy cookies and crumbles.
  • Farmstead cheese produced on a fourth-generation dairy farm.
  • Tonic featuring protein and probiotics from fresh, upcycled whey.

Finally, DMI will lead an education session to share insights from a checkoff-led study of 12,000 U.S. consumers. The results found more than 50 percent of participants are dissatisfied with the food and beverages they consume for health and wellness needs.

“There is widespread discontent in the $350 billion health and wellness category, and this opens a huge door for dairy,” Buerk said. “We understand why these consumers are dissatisfied and we hope to show entrepreneurs the many opportunities that exist where they can innovate with dairy to meet these needs.”

To learn more about the dairy checkoff, visit www.usdairy.com.


Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) is funded by America’s more than 26,000 dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers. Created to help increase sales and demand for dairy products, DMI and its related organizations work to increase demand for dairy through research, education and innovation, and to maintain confidence in dairy foods, farms and businesses. DMI manages National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association and founded the U.S. Dairy Export Council and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.