Social media effort addresses lactose intolerance


PHILADELPHIA — Exploring opportunities to connect with lactose intolerant consumers prompted the producer-funded dairy checkoff to launch, a multichannel social media effort.


The program aims to change the attitude and purchase behavior of millions of U.S. adults who currently experience real or perceived symptoms of lactose intolerance and avoid or restrict dairy consumption.

Bringing them back to dairy could result in 2.3 billion pounds of new sales annually. The initiative includes a hub site — — as well as a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel.

Its goal is to use these venues in a lighthearted and novel way to converse with lactose intolerant consumers, with these core objectives:

Change perception of lactose-free milk.

Identify opportunities to increase lactose-free milk consumption, encourage use and grow the lactose-free category.

Address myths and misperceptions of lactose-free milk related to its nutritional value and taste and show that lactose-free milk is “real milk.”

Many individuals with real or perceived lactose intolerance avoid dairy and thus fail to take in adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients, according to a National Institutes of Health consensus report.


This avoidance may predispose them to decreased accrual of bone mass and subject them to increased risk of osteoporosis and other adverse health outcomes. In most cases, individuals do not need to eliminate dairy consumption.

“There is a huge opportunity to change attitudes and strategies and make sure people who are lactose intolerant are aware of dairy-first solutions,” said Jim Layne, vice president of Dairy Management Inc.’s, strategic initiatives team.

“ is a light-hearted approach that gives people a platform to talk about a very personal condition. We want to engage them, retain them and give them the chance to reach out to other people.”

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program are the local planning and management organizations funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars.

They work closely with Dairy Management Inc. and are responsible for increasing demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of Mid-Atlantic dairy farmers. For more information, visit


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