The National Milk Producers have a new name, "DairyUS," for the Dairy REAL Seal marketing character that will be used in promotional content to help consumers distinguish between real dairy products and imitation products.
DairyUS was selected in an online vote of names, which were submitted by consumers in a nationwide search. NMPF made the announcement at its annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday.
NMPF, which represents cooperatives that produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, designed the cartoon character after assuming management of the REAL Seal last year. The new animated icon is part of an effort to revitalize the seal, which was created in the 1970s and is already used on more than 10,000 food products.
NMPF asked the public to suggest names for the character last summer, using the REAL Seal website and new REAL Seal Facebook page. Three finalists were selected from among more than 100 names submitted. An online vote was held from mid-September through Election Day, Nov.5.
In all, nearly 800 votes were cast. DairyUS, suggested by Kathryn in Clermont, Iowa, received 379 votes. The runner-up, Milkdrop, received 343 votes, while the third finalist, Roscow, received 74 votes.
"DairyUS will help both kids and adults learn about foods made with real dairy products," said NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern. "The REAL Seal not only means a product is a real dairy product, but that it is made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms and without imported, imitation or substitute ingredients."
The cartoon character is just one of a number of changes NMPF has made to promote the REAL Seal on the internet and through social media. Until recently, for example, the REAL Seal website was targeted mostly to companies interested in using the seal on their products. Today, it is focused on consumers.
NMPF also offered a preview Tuesday at the annual meeting of the REAL Seal buyer's guide, a web-based search engine that will make it easier for consumers to patronize brands and stores that offer real dairy products. The buyer's guide website will soon be online.