Consumer education - risks and benefits

In some markets, consumers still buy loose milk that has been poured into plastic bags or used bottles. Studies have repeatedly shown the dangers of drinking such milk, which is usually sold in corner shops or door to door. Contrary to popular belief, loose milk is often contaminated and high in bacteria. Another common misconception is that packed milk contains unhealthy preservatives.

Improving the image of UHT milk in Morocco

A campaign by Tetra Pak Maghreb is aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of UHT milk – milk that has been sterilised at high temperature, giving it an unrefrigerated shelf life of six to nine months – and prove to low-income consumers that it represents excellent value for money. The campaign, which began in the second quarter of 2014, is a direct response to consumers questioning how UHT milk could have such a long shelf life without the use of preservatives, and also to recent price increases that have put pressure on household budgets. The first step was to engage the media, primarily through a roundtable conference led by the president of the Moroccan Nutritionists Association and then with a series of press releases and one-to-one interviews. Later in 2015, we will be reaching out to consumers through ad-on-pack and digital advertising and holding events for doctors and nutritionists, who are well placed to spread the word about the benefits of UHT milk.

Landscape with cows

Working in partnership

We work in partnership with our customers to raise public awareness of the risks of consuming unprocessed and unpacked milk in uncontrolled conditions and, at the same time, to convey the benefits of packed milk as a healthy source of valuable nutrition. These activities address several of the UN Millennium Development Goals, at the same time as demonstrating how broad cooperation can help improve food safety and develop our business.

Responding to the challenge in Turkey

Over the past few years, loose milk has started to regain popularity in Turkey. Loose milk is increasingly seen as healthy, and as a natural, organic product. Meanwhile UHT milk has been the subject of negative media coverage, linking it with the use of additives and even some serious health risks. Now Tetra Pak Turkey and Caucasus has launched a wide-ranging initiative aimed at correcting misconceptions and raising awareness of the benefits of UHT milk, by strengthening links with industry associations, supporting customer activities and promoting messages through digital and social media. Recent activities include a roundtable for influential women and bloggers, aimed at spreading positive messages about UHT, and a press visit to a dairy farm organised in partnership with customer ASÜD. We are also putting out eight broadcasts by nutritionists on the Hurriyet digital TV channel. The Süt Hakkında Her Şey​ website also developed with ASÜD, is a comprehensive source of information on UHT.

Turkish campaign with cow on a field

Multiple channels

In cooperation with health and food authorities, the dairy industry and universities, Tetra Pak is driving awareness through communication campaigns in various different countries. We use multiple channels, such as​ TV commercials, information in pharmacies and seminars, as well as schools and universities.

With the increased penetration of social media, online communications have started to pay off. The messages focus on the health aspects of milk, the potential hazards associated with loose milk, and the benefits of processed and packaged milk. The main target group is women, as they are most often responsible for the household, cooking and caring for children.

Marking World Milk Day in South Africa

To mark World Milk Day 2015, Tetra Pak joined forces with community development charity Oliver’s House to run education sessions for 400 people living in the village of Putfontein, north of Johannesburg, about the benefits of UHT milk. The sessions – which covered milk’s nutritional qualities, and its importance as part of a healthy diet, as well as explaining the risk of contamination from loose milk – particularly focused on older people and those with families including children. Many have little or no access to running water or electricity, and therefore can’t keep food chilled.

People attending Tetra Pak event in South Africa