Emily van Rijswijck
South Africa's dairy industry shone at the International Dairy Federation's 2011 Innovation Awards in Parma, Italy recently, producing both finalists and winners.
The Consumer Education Project (CEP), an initiative of local dairy industry body Milk South Africa, took two first prizes for its innovative advertising and marketing campaign, while local dairy producer Fair Cape Dairies was named a finalist in the Best New Dairy Drink category and also contested the Best New Functional Dairy Product title.
In the former category Fair Cape was recognised for its innovative Rooiboost Shots, a drinking yogurt flavoured with rooibos tea, and in the latter category for its rooibos yogurt.
Rooibos tea has been the subject of numerous studies, which indicate that it does indeed assist in the fight against cancer and as a result, Fair Cape's products are the only yoghurt to be endorsed by the Cancer Association of South Africa.
"We are thrilled at this achievement,” said Louis Loubser, Fair Cape Dairies’ marketing director. “We have always believed in our products - however, to have them recognised as some of the best new dairy products in the world this year eclipsed our greatest expectations,"
The CEP was launched by Milk South Africa to promote the health and nutritional benefits of dairy. Milk South Africa represents both the Milk Producers Organisation and the South African Milk Processors Organisation.
The cow dealer
The CEP advertisement, titled The cow dealer, was produced by Cape-based advertising agency Fox P2. It was well received by the judges and took first prize in the categories of Best Generic Dairy Marketing Campaign and Best Consumer TV/Cinema Advertisement or Social Networking Marketing Campaign.
In the charming advert, an indigenous cow dealer convinces first a Dutch settler and then a Zulu warrior of the benefits of milk, an added bonus which they will receive when they buy his latest "cow" model. Upon tasting the milk the settler and warrior smack their lips in delight, declaring the sale to be a done deal.
CEO of Milk South Africa, Nico Fouché, said the awards have shown that the local milk industry can deliver world class products, to the benefit of both consumer and industry.
In the Generic Dairy Marketing Campaign category the South African winner beat Canada’s Federation des Producteurs de lait du Quebec and its Cream campaign and the Luxlait Association from Luxembourg with its Vitarium campaign.
In the Consumer TV/Cinema Advertisement category it saw off competition from India’s Gujarat Cooperative Milk with its Amul Master Chef TV campaign and Federation des Producteurs de lait du Quebec from Canada with its Milk campaign.
CEP co-ordinator Christine Leighton expressed her pride in the accolades as, she said, the initiative strives to educate citizens about the health and nutritional advantages of dairy products.
"This achievement has involved leading South African experts in fields such as dietetics, nutrition, dairy technology, marketing and advertising."
This year's awards attracted over 100 entries from 25 countries in 14 categories including products, packaging, marketing as well as environmental sustainability.
The judging panel was made up of 10 industry experts and was chaired by American Bill Bruce, editorial director of the UK-based FoodBev Media food and beverage industry publishing group.