Did you know that May is American Cheese Month? The American Cheese Society designates May to recognize the quality and diversity of American cheeses while supporting and promoting great cheese, local foods, family farms, and sustainable production models.
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In Wisconsin, we’ve officially been making cheese for 180 years — even longer than we’ve been a state. To commemorate this milestone, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) has big plans to engage consumers throughout May in a variety of ways. Retail and food service promotions, virtual cheese events, social and digital campaigns, and local and national media buzz will be utilized to drive more sales of Wisconsin cheese nationwide. We’re calling this omni-channel promotion “Wonders of Wisconsin” or WOW.

Retail and food service promotions

Over 4,600 retail locations across the country will shine a spotlight on cheese with in-store signage and TV monitors, price feature ads, and posts on their social media channels. Participating retail chains include Kroger (Murray’s Cheese Counters), Jewel-Osco, HEB, Festival Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and others, resulting in a potential of 180 million eyes on Wisconsin cheese throughout May. The promotion gives us an opportunity to highlight the Proudly Wisconsin badge (driven by Wisconsin dairy farmer checkoff dollars), making it easy for consumers to recognize the state’s cheeses as they make purchasing decisions.

Look for “Wonders of Wisconsin” displays at your local grocery store, specialty cheese shops, and at participating restaurants like Cousin’s, Topper’s, Culver’s, Tom & Chee/Goldstar, Minksy’s, and more.

Virtual cheese events

DFW has been hosting highly successful virtual events throughout the last year, including a national curd day celebration in cooperation with Culver’s that engaged over 20,000 consumers. We plan to build on that success with an exciting series of weekly virtual events including:

-Harmonious Pairings: A Night of Music and Cheese
-The Art of Affinage: With Host and Affinage Expert Eric Meredith
-Cheese, Cheers and Beers: Game Night Done Right
-Find Your Inner Chef: Cooking School with a Top-Rated Chef

Virtual events like these are fun, interactive, and highly effective tools for sharing our dairy story and driving sales, whether it’s with Cheeselandians (residents of our award-winning cheese community), retail and food service cheese buyers, and now, with our “Wonders of Wisconsin” nationwide consumer audiences. Research shows that consumers are “very likely” to recommend and purchase cheese after attending one of our events.

Visit wisconsincheese.com/wondersofwisconsin to register. http://www.wisconsincheese.com/wondersofwisconsin

Social and digital campaigns

We’re excited to bring high-quality milk, cheese mastery, creativity, quality, and cheesemaking community pride to the forefront of consumers’ minds by showcasing a new daily “wonder” through our social media campaign each day throughout the month of May. We’ll also be sharing the stories of some of Wisconsin’s most innovative original cheeses and award-winning Master Cheesemakers. Be sure to follow along with @WisconsinCheese on Facebook and Instagram.

To complement the retail promotion, we’re running a six-week campaign on the navigation-based app WAZE to drive consumers (pun intended!) into a select number of participating retail locations. A display campaign will educate consumers about the Wonders of Wisconsin, and social ads targeted to foodies will generate excitement and buzz around the events.

Local and national media buzz

Earning public relations placements is always top of mind, and we are currently earning media valued at $50 million annually (with features in The New York Times, Food and Wine, The Today Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Drew Barrymore Show, and more). The WOW campaign is our dedicated spring promotional push.

We’re kicking off all the excitement with a satellite media tour with Chef Joe Flamm, broadcast TV interviews airing in key markets nationwide, story pitches, and two full days of virtual meetings with dozens of top-tier media contacts so they can help spread the word about the Wonders of Wisconsin. You can see earned media placements on our media center.

Look for our displays in stores, sign up for our virtual events, follow along on social media, and read all about us in your favorite publications. Those are just a few of the ways Wisconsin is putting the “WOW” in American Cheese Month this May.

THE Dairy Industry Code of Conduct has brought about a “significant culture change” within the dairy sector and helped increase competition at the farmgate, according to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh.

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