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YouTube influencer Mr. Beast, Minecraft part of Midwest Dairy’s outreach strategy

DENNISON, Minn. – The most popular influencer on YouTube has teamed up with dairy.

Mr. Beast, with 133 million subscribers, has the top individual channel in the world and is the fourth most subscribed YouTube channel overall. He recently created a Minecraft challenge in partnership with Undeniably Dairy.

Collaboration with Mr. Beast was one of many dairy promotion updates that was part of a Midwest Dairy check off meeting Feb. 8 in Dennison.

Midwest Dairy is holding a series of meetings across Minnesota to share updates on its dairy promotion work including its work with members of Generation Z, dairy research and a collaboration with Taco Bell. Speakers also gave updates on dairy grants in schools and collaborations with food and retail partners such as Cub.

As Midwest Dairy hones its focus on a new generation, they also used a new check off meeting format to help farmers implement promotion ideas locally.

Mr. Beast made a Minecraft gaming competition that included a dairy-dedicated level and challenged a group of gamers to a competition with a cash prize. The video was the No. 1 trending video on YouTube within one day. As of Feb. 20, the video had reached more than 10 million views.

In a tweet he posted Feb. 4, Mr. Beast reminded viewers of his vast reach beyond his massive follower list.

“Our YouTube channel has reached 616,000,000 different people in the last 90 days,” he said.

Midwest Dairy was also able to utilize Minecraft at the local level through collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. They created a competition where Minecraft gamers constructed dairy farms within Minecraft and submitted them to be judged. They received more than 109, which were judged by a dairy farmer.

The collaboration is part of Midwest Dairy’s effort to reach its target demographic of Gen Z, people who are currently ages 11-26

Brittany Arnold, Midwest Dairy farmer relations manager for Minnesota and presenter at the meeting, said Gen Z is a purpose-driven generation, and the concepts of sustainable and local have meaning to them. Research by Midwest Dairy shows that milk consumption declines in adolescence, so reaching this generation before they make other choices is key. Midwest Dairy is actively working to reach Gen Z in the places they are and in the ways they find meaning.

“Out with marketing and billboards,” Arnold said.

The Gen Z demographic has had social media their entire lives, and social influencers are key to their world. YouTube, the most popular platform among Gen Z, captures 95% of the demographic. Among Gen Z, approximately 90% are also gamers.

The Gen Z demographic also encompasses the college undergraduate population. With Midwest Dairy’s focus on reaching Gen Z consumers where they are, they facilitated pop-up events across several local campuses. College students were served easy grab-and-go dairy food options, dairy information and meme cards. They were also were staffed with individuals ready to answer questions about dairy.

Midwest Dairy has also been active in dairy research through collaboration with land grant universities. The Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center collaborated with Taco Bell in creating the restaurant’s Whip Freeze drinks. Through research, the application lab discovered how Taco Bell could use shelf stable dairy creamer in their drinks without requiring any new equipment . This collaboration helped launch the Pineapple Whip Freeze. Other similar collaborations are underway, but Midwest Dairy cannot share all the stories due to non-disclosure agreements with partners.

Arnold said Midwest Dairy works with schools through its Innovate with Dairy grants. Through these grants, schools are able to get the equipment they need to offer their students milk, yogurt smoothies and lattes. This year, these grants helped 51 schools in 42 districts. Nearly half of the schools elected to add yogurt smoothie options on-site, making it the most popular option.

In 2022, Midwest Dairy collaborated with retail and food service partners including Cub, Casey’s, Kwik Trip, Coborn’s Inc., Hy-Vee, Pizza Ranch and Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers.

Midwest Dairy worked with Cub on social media content. Midwest Dairy ambassadors did two social media takeovers for Cub’s Instagram, where they shared a farm tour video and did an “Ask Me Anything” segment.

With many ideas and successes to share, Midwest Dairy’s goal for this year’s meetings was that farmers would take the ideas presented and implement them in their local communities. This year’s in-person meetings focused on high-level information combined with time for brainstorming and discussion among attendees. A more in-depth presentation of Midwest Dairy’s promotion work will be given at a March 7 virtual meeting.

Amy Kyllo, Staff Writer 2/27/2023 9:58 AM



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