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The New York Times has a story about what it calls the "Not Milk generation, teenagers and young adults who grew up ordering milk alternatives at coffee shops and toting water bottles everywhere. Turned off by the no-fat and low-fat milks served at school, worried about climate change and steeped in the increasing skepticism toward the dairy industry on social media, many of them have never embraced milk. Last year, members of Generation Z bought 20 percent less milk than the national average, according to the consumer market research company Circana."

The story says that "the dairy industry isn’t banking on nostalgia to save the day. It has embarked on a full-frontal marketing assault intended to do what the 'Got Milk?' mustaches on celebrities like Taylor Swift and Dennis Rodman did for previous generations."  It is targeting the gaming demographic, positioning dairy milk as a "performance beverage" and signing high-profile gamers to promote the product.

And, it is going after women by hiring female athletes as spokespeople.  The Times writes, "Although the science about the health benefits and drawbacks of milk isn’t settled, some studies have shown that chocolate milk contains basic electrolytes and a precise ratio of carbohydrates to protein that can help muscles recover after workouts … Milk processors are betting that supporting women and girls who run, and promoting gender equity in sports — with plenty of post-race chocolate milk — will change some minds."

KC's View:

Of course, sometimes things don't work out the way you plan.

The Times notes that "to the marketers trying to reboot milk as a sports drink for Generation Z, Yvonne Zapata seemed like the perfect ambassador. An exuberant 24-year-old marathoner from Brooklyn, she describes herself as a proud Latina runner. Her nickname is Miss Outside.

"The Milk Processor Education Program signed her to its 26.2 project, an ambitious effort to provide training, gear, advice and other support to every woman who runs a marathon in the United States this year. In March, Ms. Zapata’s face lit up a giant Times Square billboard. She starred in her own video. Her portrait is one of several anchoring the Gonna Need Milk website.

"There is only one problem: Ms. Zapata would rather drink oat milk."

Maybe the Milk Processor Education Program also ought to invest in some media education and teach people on its payroll what they should and shouldn't say to the media.