Dairy MAX & H-E-B Empower Health Professionals Through Strategic Educational Partnership

Feb 16, 2024
Consumers grocery shopping for dairy foods.

The Collaborative Effort to Enhance Dairy Education Among Clinicians  

Dairy MAX and H-E-B, one of the nation’s largest grocery store chains, continue to strengthen the dairy community through a multi-faceted partnership aimed at enhancing the presence and consumption of dairy. 

In fall 2023, Dairy MAX hosted an educational training focused on consumer health and dairy education for a group of H-E-B clinicians. As part of this training, the group was surveyed to gain understanding of their affinity, perceptions and recommendations when discussing dairy with their patients. The survey responses revealed 85 percent were very comfortable in recommending three daily servings of dairy, but their biggest challenges to address with patients included: overall misconceptions, skin health, digestive sensitivities and inflammation concerns. Most of the clinicians also revealed they held little knowledge around dairy’s journey from farm to table, including on-the-farm practices and dairy processing. These responses highlighted the need for further education on dairy’s nutritional benefits and sustainable farming practices. 

Through this partnership, Dairy MAX has been able to provide tailored education resources based on H-E-B consumer needs, which has significantly influenced H-E-B's approach to education and strengthens their commitment to providing patients with best-in-class education about dairy's nutritional benefits.

“By working closely with Dairy MAX, we can access a network of dairy farmers and producers who adhere to rigorous quality standards as we do at H-E-B,” said Lorena Kaplen, H-E-B registered dietitian. “The key benefit of this collaboration is working with a center of excellence providing the latest science on dairy consumption and how dairy supports common medical diagnosis in treatment and prevention.”

The H-E-B wellness nutrition strategy team believes the continued partnership with Dairy MAX has impacted the way they educate and inform their clinicians on the latest research related to dairy and has allowed them to prioritize education about dairy products and their role in overall health and wellness. Through various initiatives, such as webinars, educational materials and trainings, H-E-B and Dairy MAX have jointly worked to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of dairy consumption, elevating dairy perception among health professionals and, in turn, increasing sales of milk, cheese and yogurt.

“Looking ahead, Dairy MAX will continue our educational outreach to H-E-B health professionals, including physicians and dietitians, with further trainings slated in the coming months,” said Lana Frantzen, vice president of health and wellness at Dairy MAX. “This initiative aims to dispel myths and equip them with evidence-based recommendations to encourage dairy consumption.” 

Planning is underway for future opportunities to further educate H-E-B clinicians on dairy farming and sustainability. The goal of these trainings is to continue enhancing their confidence and ability to engage health-minded shoppers and medical partners effectively. This initiative not only aims to increase dairy consumption, but also to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the hard work of our farmers, ensuring their vital role in the dairy ecosystem is recognized and valued. 

“We envision this partnership to continue to grow by leveraging Dairy MAX's expertise and insights into dairy industry trends,” said Kaplen. “By doing so, H-E-B can stay ahead of consumer preferences and introduce new dairy products that cater to evolving tastes and dietary preferences of consumers.”

Dairy MAX and H-E-B are committed to continued education on the benefits of dairy, supporting farmers, promoting the health of our communities and ensuring people have access to the nutritious dairy products they love. This partnership highlights a shared commitment to excellence in dairy production and education, which will continue to benefit our farmers and the communities served by H-E-B stores. 


About Dairy MAX 

Founded more than 40 years ago, Dairy MAX is one of the leading regional dairy councils in America – representing more than 900 dairy farmers and serving communities in eight states: Colorado, southwest Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. A nonprofit organization, Dairy MAX is part of a nationwide effort to promote American agriculture, support dairy farming and drive impact for every dairy farmer. The organization operates five audience outreach programs: business development, consumer marketing, health and wellness, industry image and relations and school marketing. For more information about Dairy MAX and its team of experts, visit DairyMAX.org. Dairy resources and delicious recipes are available at DairyDiscoveryZone.com. 


About H-E-B

H-E-B, with sales of $43 billion, operates more than 430 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 118th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 154,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com and the H-E-B Newsroom.