Episode 26 – Growing Cheese Sales With Pizza Partnerships

A new dairy checkoff growth program, in collaboration with pizza partners, is set to boost cheese consumption by over 12 million pounds, primarily focusing on international markets. On the domestic front, Domino’s has introduced Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread to its menu. Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) has supported Domino’s, including consumer research for the successful launch of this product, and they plan to work on an enhanced loyalty program.

Listen as Paul Ziemnisky, DMI’s EVP of Global Innovation Partnerships discusses the checkoff’s new cheese program with Scott Wallin, DMI’s VP of Industry Media Relations. Restaurant partnerships are a collaborative effort and a powerful means to enhance the dairy industry’s presence in the global food market. Tune in to find out!

To learn more about the national dairy checkoff and your local dairy checkoffs, please visit www.usdairy.com.

Host & Guest:

  • Guest: Paul Ziemnisky, Executive Vice President of Global Innovation Partnerships at Dairy Management Inc.
  • Host: Scott Wallin, Vice President of Industry Media Relations


Growth strategies for Domino’s Pizza. 0:00

Domino’s Pizza aims to ignite growth through new menu items and loyalty program.

Restaurant partnerships and their benefits. 1:02

Partnership strategy benefits farmers and restaurants through mutual interests and shared value.

Domino’s Pizza marketing strategies and international expansion. 2:30

Domino’s has launched a new loyalty program and pepperoni stuffed cheesy bread to ignite growth, with $100 million in marketing investment.

Domino’s has expanded internationally, with pizza penetration still developing in markets like the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Increasing cheese penetration in households and securing incremental distribution. 5:36

International pizza chain expands partnership with US dairy company, resulting in 12 million pounds of incremental cheese sales.

Dairy industry innovation and growth with Paul Ziemnisky. 7:17

Paul Ziemnisky highlights McDonald’s and Taco Bell’s success with non-frozen desserts and cheese-focused menu items.

Dairy Checkoff partners with food service providers to drive growth and volume for farmers through insights, innovation, and r&d expertise.

Transcript (Machine Generated Ignore Typos):

Paul Ziemnisky 0:00
They’ve also faced a lot of challenges are farmers inflation, right and staffing of labor. And so they were looking at ways to continue to ignite growth. And so they had two things. First was they wanted to continue the news on the menu, build up their basket, build their growth. And so they are launching a pepperoni stuffed cheesy bread. And we’re going to work with them on the marketing around that. And number two that you’ll see in the news. Breaking this week is just a new loyalty program. And it keeps them loyalty to pizza. And what we’ve learned with Domino’s is, and when consumers aren’t buying pizza, they’re buying less dairy intensive products.

Scott Wallin 0:45
Everybody, Scott Lowe and dairy management incorporated I’m so happy to bring you another one of our video discussions with our checkup leaders and today I’m joined by Paul miski. Paul serves as executive vice president and head of wellness insights and innovation for DMI. Paul, how you doing this morning?

Paul Ziemnisky 0:59
Morning, Scott? Fantastic, thanks.

Scott Wallin 1:02
Well, thank you so much for joining me and you know, so it’s exciting to catch up with you on what’s going on in the partnership realm. And I know you’ve got some news you want to share with some of our restaurant partners. But before we get into those specifics, why don’t we just kind of take a step back, you know, Dairy Checkoff has been working with our restaurant partners for so many years. So many successes, as you kind of just take that broad view of the restaurant partnership strategy, why is it work so? Well?

Paul Ziemnisky 1:26
I well, I think, Scott, you know, we serve mutual interests on the benefit for the farmers DMI brings to the restaurant players, the ability to look across the whole supply chain, and to help them move fast as we look at growing new products, innovation on their menus. And we benefit from them taking the insights, the tools and the connections we have then put their hundreds of millions of dollars and really, ultimately billions into marketing. And you know, the significant consumer reach they get on a daily basis. I mean, you look at like a McDonald’s where you get 25 million people going into there on on it on a daily basis, you’ve got, I just talked into Dominos 30 plus million youth have their digital apps so that we can use their marketing to deliver messaging about innovation, marketing, but also they support from our storytelling, you know, and align up principles and help educate society, that largest scale.

Scott Wallin 2:27
So we’re going to touch on a couple of exciting news updates. Let’s start first of all with Domino’s on the domestic front, what can you share with us about this work?

Paul Ziemnisky 2:36
Yeah, Domino’s has been a partner he talked about since 2009. You know, we started with Domino’s, and it was early if you guys remember, at that area, the foods or the restaurant guys were taking cheese off pizza. And that original partnership was about improving the quality. And, you know, they went on TV, right, and they talked about their pizza wasn’t good. You know, now we’ve got an industry investing in pizza. You know, it’s been growing significantly the last decade, right. And now you’ve got players like mod Blaze and all these other fast casual pieces come up. And so that the US what we defined the catalytic effect. Yet, we’ve continued over the last couple of years to find ways to grow domestically and also internationally with them. And you know, the last few years we’ve helped launch, cheesy dips, you know, we helped launch and this February loaded tots and again, loaded with cheese right? On the back half. You know, they’ve also faced a lot of challenges our farmers inflation, right, and staffing and labor. And so they were looking at ways to continue to ignite growth. And so they had two things, you know, first was they wanted to continue the news on the menu, build up their basket, build their growth. And so they are launching a pepperoni stuff, cheesy bread, and we’re going to work with them on the marketing around that. And number two that you’ll see in the news, breaking this week. It’s just a new loyalty program. And it keeps them loyalty to pizza. And what we’ve learned with Domino’s is, and when consumers aren’t buying pizza, they’re buying less dairy intensive products. You know, they’re buying Asian chicken, which just has a lot less dairy going through it. And so that’s such a critical thing. So if Domino’s launches a new loyalty program, you’ll probably see in the next six months, others and it just encourages buying more pizza. And so what why it’s big as these guys you know, Domino’s is committed to put in, you know, you’re talking 100 million dollars in marketing behind those two initiatives. Again, things that we is the catalytic map marketing, the catalytic advert advertising to inform the consumer about, again, news in the pizza category, which is so important to us because it moves so much volume through that channel.

Scott Wallin 4:44
So this model that you just kind of walked through at the start of this conversation that’s worked so well domestically, we’ve taken it into the international marketplace as well. So the second news item, I know you’re going to cover off on has to do with a pizza partner overseas, what’s happening there? Yeah, and

Paul Ziemnisky 4:59
you know, Started overseas, we’re so used to Pizza V readily available here, you know, out retail, you know, Domino, yarn start retail, you got like DiGiorno all the way to your bread Baron, right and frozen. And in here all over, you’ve got big national players like Domino’s Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and you’ve got regional a local restaurant or a pizza place, it’s a different thing we look at on their national pizza is still developing, you know, the household penetration across, whether it’s the Middle East Africa, you know, Southeast Asia, it’s a one or two times special moment. And so for us, trying to increase that penetration in the households to bring the both the enjoyment and the growth is a huge opportunity for so we’ve been working there since 2017, with some major players like a Domino’s, like a Pizza Hut. And so we continue to look at where Mark market opportunities, you know, and there’s where there’s some players and places we’re looking at right now we have one that has historically been exclusive to a New Zealand supplier. And, you know, we were making progress COVID hit and kind of slowed everything down, you know, and they’ve seen that this, this international pizza chain is seen where we’ve done on the innovation front and the US the marketing front on the US. And they’re not getting that type of innovation support from the international competitor to us dairy. And so we had the opportunity to go in with marketing and with some supply chain players, and secure incremental distribution and marketing around pizza working with us there. And so it’s a big win for us. When you add the Domino’s program, this international player program, you’re looking at 12 million cheese pounds going through in the back half of this year. Incremental and you know, so that’s, that’s big, where as we’re trying to help our farmers and move a lot of incremental volume.

Scott Wallin 7:01
It certainly is a whole lot of cheese. And it’s so great that to know that this is us source cheese going into that international marketplace as well. You know these two news items just kind of add to an already strong year for restaurant partners. Can you just touch on a couple other big moments this year?

Paul Ziemnisky 7:17
Yeah, right now. I mean, it’s been out. It’s also a strong year and McDonald’s where you know, about two years ago, we start working with him and saying, you know, I’ll call the desert businesses got room for growth. You know, they’re under marketing them at flurry next year, you’ll even see a bigger emphasis on I’ll call it the ice cream and dessert business area, but in the interim, we’ve helped them do innovation this year or anaemic Florrick space, we’ve had a strawberry shortcake flurry right now we’ve got a peanut butter crunch McFlurry in market, which is fantastic. And then also in the summer, you may have heard the news around the grimace shake. I mean, if you go and look at their sales results, they said that was the primary driver of their growth in q2 this year, you know, a shake and again, that was the first new shake and I think a decade. So that’s what we mean by a real emphasis on non frozen desserts and that’s been successful and, and also Taco Bell. You know, we’ve you know, I always like to say you go back to Taco Bell, we started working with him on 2013 we’ve helped them move dairy from what they considered a garnish to hero, you know work that we’ve from the case of Luba to the cheesy gordita crunch to you know, two years ago we help them do a limited time offer grilled cheese burrito this year, that girl cheese burrito has become permanent. And building off the grilled cheese momentum. They actually right now have a grilled cheese dip and taco. So again, that outside of the tacos, grilled cheese, but one of the dipping sauces is also a cheese sauce so and then also that tacos got cheese on the inside. So I call it the triple cheese indulgence. So that’s the examples of how we continue to look to ways to drive news to drive marketing and move a lot of volume for our farmers.

Scott Wallin 9:01
And those wins. You just touched on happen because of our talented food scientists who are on site working with those teams plus all the other support that checkoff gives from a marketing and research and development standpoint. I mean, we truly do have a powerful presence with the with these major food service partners, don’t we? Yeah, I

Paul Ziemnisky 9:19
mean, our goal is to prove the opportunities. So we go in and bring insights around ways you can grow with dairy. So like you said, insights and innovation and growth spaces, then what we offer up is the r&d expertise, you know, again, this is how we have onsite scientist or some of these places. We have a pop in scientists, but look across the supply chain. Hey, who can make help these guys because we’re supplier agnostic, right? So what we do is we can help develop the product and then say, Hey, these are the 10 or 20 suppliers. You guys go talk to, from that perspective, but it’s the speed and the scale that we help them with. And then we always have that lens of what’s the is it going to do? Right incremental sustainable sales for our farmer. That’s our focus. You know, we really try to say how does it how’s that going to build upon the volume every year to keep that incremental volume moving through the supply chain?

Scott Wallin 10:11
Well, it’s great stuff. I know our farmers always get excited when they go into one of these restaurants and they see something on the menu that their team created. So Paul, thank you again for your time. It’s it’s great catching up with you and hearing all these these news updates that you share with us and for dairy farmers who want to learn more about their Dairy Checkoff. Be sure to visit us dairy.com Thank you so much, Paul. Thanks, Scott.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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