Industry Leaders Share Forward-Thinking Trends to Drive Dairy Demand

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Midwest Dairy jointly announce the agenda for the second annual Dairy Experience Forum on July 16-18 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minnesota. The forum’s unique program will facilitate conversation and learning opportunities among farmers, dairy experts and partners as they discuss useful insights and ideas that can be used in their ongoing work to help ensure a successful future for dairy.

The two-day forum will convene the entire supply chain—including farmers, processors, cooperatives, dietitians, retailers and dairy ambassadors—to learn about disruptive, forward-thinking trends and how the industry can collaborate to build dairy demand nationwide and globally. Consumer trends and behaviors are changing at a rapid, ongoing rate; thus it is imperative dairy farmers and industry stay on top of the latest disruptive, forward-thinking trends to ensure the category maintains and continues to grow market share globally.

“With more than 95 percent of the world’s population outside of the United States, it is more important than ever to understand dairy’s opportunities to reach global consumers,” says Tom Vilsack, President and CEO of US Dairy Export Council who will provide one of the forum’s keynotes. 

Building on the success of last year’s live consumer focus group, during which attendees listened to and observed adult consumers discuss their food preferences, the 2019 forum will also feature a similar event, however all panelists will represent Generation Z. With $44 billion in purchasing power and nearly 50 percent of 18-21 years olds participating in their household’s grocery shopping, it’s critical for the dairy industry to take a close look at how Generation Z makes purchasing decisions and what drives their eating choices.

“Understanding youth culture provides valuable clues on the food, health and snacking trends that will drive profitable sales growth,” says Jeff Fromm, President of FutureCast, who in addition to serving as the opening speaker, will facilitate the Generation Z live consumer focus group.

Key speaker highlights include:

  • United States Dairy Export Council CEO Tom Vilsack will share how USDEC is addressing ways U.S. dairy products can better meet the needs and preferences of international consumers.
  • Innovation expert and former Google executive, Steve Lerch will highlight how the digital transformation is impacting consumer’s food and health decisions.
  • National Pork Board CEO Bill Even will participate in a corporate social responsibility panel with leaders from food and agriculture industries who set a high bar in demonstrating best practices.
  • Generational consultant Jeff Fromm will discuss how generational differences are changing buying habits and put attendees into the consumer mindset.
  • An E-commerce panel will share how companies use creative approaches to capitalize on the fact that online food sales are predicted to grow by 15 to 20 percent of total sales in 2022.

To see the full agenda and register, visit

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin exists to be a tireless advocate, marketer, and promoter for Wisconsin dairy farmers and to drive demand for Wisconsin’s dairy products. The organization represents Wisconsin farm families and works to increase the sale and consumption of Wisconsin milk and dairy products, as well as build trust in dairy farmers and the industry. Organizational initiatives include generating national publicity, managing digital advertising, and driving sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also supports in-school education about the benefits of dairy and funding for the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook.

About Midwest Dairy: Midwest Dairy™ represents 7,000 dairy farm families and works on their behalf to build dairy demand by inspiring consumer confidence in our products and production practices. We are committed to Bringing Dairy to Life! by Giving Consumers an Excellent Dairy Experience and are funded by farmers across a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy. For relevant conversations about issues and trends in the dairy community, listen to Dairy on the Air.