And I see a lot of companies that work to do this. I see that many CEOs place a premium on their employees. What is different and unique about the cooperative model is its intimacy, understanding of those families, knowing these communities. I don’t know if a business can be successful if employees are worried about their children’s school or their mom can’t go to the doctor. More of that understanding will help everyone.
Americans are drinking less milk. Is this affecting your farmers’ production?
People say, “Look at this amazing growth in plant-based!” This is fantastic This is a small base. Because you know what else is going on? Animal Agriculture and Dairy. So do I see a change in consumption? I do I see a greater desire to innovate, and I see a greater desire to try other things. I hope and believe that the consumer should do those things.
What was behind the decision to change the logo last year?
I think people have misunderstandings. Was I being pressured? Are we pc What is the message? When I stepped in as CEO, I started hearing really loudly that our best asset was that we were owned by a cooperative and farmer. People were like, “If I had known this, I would have had more products from you.” So we did research and we said that we want to promote the farmer first.
My responsibility is to say what is most relevant to consumers. And let me tell you, we added eight million new homes to our Butter franchise, and they are right in the goal of what I think is important – millennials, new consumers, consumers who are unfamiliar with Land O’Lakes. So there was no pressure. This was a forward-looking marketing move that we thought was our best position. And that is the farmer and cooperative model.
Was there even an impression that the previous imagery was old or inappropriate or racist?
We did not talk about it that way. What we saw in consumer research was confusing customers – not just Indian women and no cows? I mean, what is that? It was a message that was unclear to a consumer.
Given that the company is headquartered near Minneapolis, how have you reacted to the murder of George Floyd and the aftermath?
At first, it was incredibly sad. We spent time listening, listening with our staff. Because it’s just painful. And what happened from this was that feeling of connectedness, “I don’t have the lived experience of an African American, but I want to understand the pain, the fear that someone tells me they can’t do for their 12-year-old.” Tell the son to go out and ride a bike. ” Or you hear stories of black companies from major companies being barred from going to work. I mean, it’s just unacceptable.