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"got milk?" over splashing milk
Rodrigo Louvat
I am a Marketing Associate at Tera in charge of digital marketing and content creation, writing blog articles and newsletters. Drop me a line at if you feel like it!

How the Dairy Industry’s Influenced the American Diet: Got Milk?

Remember when the dairy industry convinced America it NEEDED milk?

Today I wanted to talk about how another major industry used clever marketing, lobbying, and misinformation to convince a generation of Americans that milk was essential to life even though an estimated  65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant to some degree!

Old dairy industry ad

In the early 20th century, the dairy industry faced a problem of overproduction and surplus milk. To address this issue, the industry began to lobby the U.S government to promote milk and dairy products as a key part of the American diet. The industry saw this as an opportunity to find new markets for their products and increase consumption. This lobbying effort was a crucial turning point in the history of the dairy industry, as it helped establish milk and dairy products as a staple of the American diet.

To promote their products, the industry launched an extensive advertising campaign that emphasized the health benefits of milk. They hired celebrities to endorse milk, sponsored cooking and nutrition shows, and advertised in newspapers and magazines. They also emphasized the importance of calcium for strong bones and teeth, and positioned milk as a vital source of this essential mineral. The industry’s marketing efforts were incredibly successful, and by the 1940s, milk consumption had more than doubled.

To further promote milk and dairy products, the dairy industry worked to establish relationships with government officials and medical professionals. They sought to influence government nutrition policies and guidelines and to position their products as an essential part of public health. The industry-sponsored research emphasized the nutritional benefits of dairy and provided funding to universities and medical schools. They also worked to establish relationships with influential individuals in the medical and nutrition fields, who could help promote the idea of milk as a nutritional staple.

Dairy Industry Got Milk ad

The government responded to the dairy industry’s lobbying efforts by including their products in a variety of nutrition and welfare programs. For example, the National School Lunch Act of 1946 mandated that schools provide a serving of milk with each meal. Milk and dairy products were also included in food aid programs for low-income families, such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Today, milk and dairy products remain a key part of the American diet, due in large part to the dairy industry’s successful lobbying efforts. Yet the tides are shifting and plant-based alternatives are becoming more popular.

Although I must mention while many of these alternatives are more ethical and sustainable some of the major brands are processed, filled with unhealthy additives, and packed with seed oils. Make sure to double-check the ingredients of these products with Tera.
With Tera, you can select the calcium nutrition preference to make sure your diet is rich in calcium. If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan you can select the Dairy ingredient preference and/or vegan-certified preference. It’s never been easier to find the perfect products for you! Eat better and feel better with Tera ♡

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