As the marketing of plant-based dairy alternatives continues to spill into the political realm both in the United States and abroad, a UK startup is hoping alt milk purveyors will join Altdairy.org.
Altdairy.org is the web home and name and of a new marketing effort and related membership mark coordinated by Alt Dairy Future, a London-based marketing agency focused on the alternative dairy category. The firm was formerly known as Ministry of Mylk but rebranded and launched the new mark in 2022.
“The business of alt dairy has gained substantial ground over the last few years — and we’ve seen how traditional dairy associations have built forums for knowledge sharing and networking — but there aren’t many alternative dairy associations, so it was time we did the same and created something similar,” Altdairy.org CEO Adrian Dinsdale recently told DCN. “Our goal is very much to encourage people to make alt dairy part of their daily choice when it comes to their food and drink, and if we can help businesses promote their alt dairy products, that’s one step closer to spreading awareness.”
The agency recently launched a program squarely focused on hotels, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops called Hospitality Heroes. The program comes at an annual cost of £30 monthly (billed annually at £360, or roughly $433), and gives members access to use the Alt Dairy mark, plus certain promotional and marketing resources.
“They’re making a more positive impact on the planet and that is worth endorsing,” Dinsdale said. “With this program, we’re also providing social media and public-relations assistance because we want to do everything we can that will further the mission of choosing alternative dairy.”
While currently open to industry partnerships, the privately funded agency has also worked with UK-based media group Plant Based News to help drive awareness.
The marketing of dairy and dairy alternatives — particularly those that incorporate the word “milk” — has become a contentious issue in recent years, as the market for plant-based foods continues to grow.
According to numerous reports, the UK government is considering new restrictions that would apply to plant-based dairy alternatives. Numerous UK plant-based product manufacturers, including major oat milk brands, penned a letter warning against any restrictive labeling.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just released new draft language regarding labeling for dairy alternatives that would allow the use of the term “milk” but also calls for voluntary labeling in cases where alternative milks fall short of certain nutritional markers found in cow’s milk. Parties on both sides of the milk aisle have criticized the draft.
Meanwhile, Dinsdale sees Altdairy.org campaign as an opportunity to help steer purveyors and consumers in one direction over the other.
“We want more people to start having the conversation about the dairy options they are using,” Dinsdale said. “We understand that the level of regular cow’s milk that’s being used is still significantly pretty high, but that only pushes us further to help shift the needle a little bit.”
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