Domino's - An Undeniably Strong Partnership

Posted 09/14/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

During the past ten years, we have invested in partnerships with influential quick service restaurant companies. That investment includes providing these partners with consumer insights, product development and nutrition expertise to develop new menu choices that include dairy and that in turn, find new markets for farmers’ milk. Our four key partners – Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – have moved more than 2 billion equivalent pounds of milk in the duration of our work together. That’s a lot of milk flowing through this country.

This summer, Barb O’Brien, DMI President approached each of our key partners and explained our current economic situation, asking them to brainstorm for deeper ways that their company can help us build trust and increase sales. 

Over the next month, I will share details on some of our partnerships – including a bit of history, metrics and how they contribute to moving our dairy industry forward.

This week I am looking at Domino’s. Domino’s is one of these partnerships that feels more like family than partner. We have been through a lot with them and it shows in the relationship. I have to also mention that they have a strong history of taking a secure stance with us as they feel pressures from consumer groups on animal care. They understand our lifestyle and our commitment to taking care of our cows and because of that, they are willing to stand with us in support of our relationship.

Domino's Pizza Box

Every other year they hold a Worldwide Rally for Domino’s franchise owners from around the world to gather and learn about new strategies, come together for pizza making contests, and network with fellow franchise owners. I had the honor of addressing more than 9,000 cheese enthusiasts at the last two Rallies. I was nervous for sure, but I would be more nervous if I didn’t feel the love and respect coming back to us. 

They love our partnerships, they love dairy farmers and they love our cheese. They are into our cheese so much that in 2018, they increased their cheese usage by over 1 BILLION milk equivalent pounds. That’s just shy of 20,000 tanker loads of milk that was off the market because of the Domino’s partnership. WOW! Substantial, without a doubt.

In addition to menu development, Domino’s has also been a partner in sharing the story of dairy farmers through the Undeniably Dairy campaign.  Last summer, Domino’s put the Undeniably Dairy logo on their pizza boxes across the country – reaching 7 million homes a week.  And for June Dairy month this year, when their customers ordered a pizza online, the Domino’s Pizza Tracker featured Undeniably Dairy and dairy farmers’ stories as customers tracked their order.

Domino's Pizza Tracker

This past month I attended a local promotion event in which our local State and Region, ADA North East, handed out pizza to farmers as a thank you for their support and to help bring awareness to the strength of the Domino’s partnership.  I had the privilege of talking to the franchise owner that delivered the pizza. We talked about our businesses, our similar challenges and the value of our partnership. He got it and his respect for us as dairy farmers was evident. It was refreshing to know that the respect that started at the top of both DMI and Domino’s has permeated through to the franchisees. 

We need their help this fall, and they are stepping up in big advertising ways that we will see in the upcoming months. And this is an investment Domino’s is making on their own not because they have to but because they WANT to as they see value in us as farmers.  They see value in our industry and they see greater return in using MORE CHEESE! 

As I wrote in my first blog post, we are truly stronger together and that also includes our partners like Domino’s.

If you have questions or comment about our partnership with Domino's, feel free to leave it below or you can reach out directly to me at talktomarilyn@dairy.org.

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