Dairy UK has launched an advertising campaign carrying an official-looking logo for the “Department of Dairy Related Wholesome Affairs” on billboards around the UK.
From next year the pro-dairy adverts could make their way onto supermarket shelves, as the organisation said it is in talks with major retailers to have the images displayed in store for a fee.
The adverts will use “food porn” style images to tempt shoppers into buying more cheese, milk and butter, for example placing adverts for butter in bread aisles, and milk adverts in hot chocolate and cereal aisles.
A mock up of what the adverts might looks like CREDIT: DAIRY UK
It comes after the National Farmers Union complained about vegan milk alternatives being called “milk”, prompting supermarkets to change the way they listed soya and nut-based milk alternatives.
EU rules state that certain names are reserved for dairy products, including “yoghurt”, “milk”, and “butter”.
But last night the Vegan Society described the dairy industry’s campaign as “brainwashing” customers into buying animal-based products.
The planned adverts will use “food porn” style imagery to tempt shoppers into buying dairy CREDIT: DAIRY UK
A spokesman for the organisation said: “First the dairy industry tried to attack vegan dairy alternatives by accusing them of confusing customers with their use of the word ‘milk’ and now there are pro-dairy adverts to be placed on supermarket shelves to further brainwash customers into thinking that dairy is necessary and normal.
“Whatever funny approach the dairy industry decides to adopt to promote its products through these adverts, there is no denying that dairy is going out of fashion while vegan alternatives are growing at an exponential rate. “The adverts appear to diminish the issue of animal suffering and do not depict the realities of what happens on dairy farms.”
Milk sales fell by around £240m between 2014 and 2016 according to data compiled by the Grocer magazine.
Meanwhile this year for the first time soya milk, rice milk and almond milk were included in the ONS’s “typical basket of goods” list for the first time.
The British Retail Consortium has been contacted for comment.