Hot Chocolate Comes From Brown Cows: Anatomy of a PR Campaign.

Where does hot chocolate come from? Some in America think it comes from brown cows. That’s according to many blogs but also a surprising number of established sources such as CNN and the Chicago Tribune.

Hard to believe but it’s probably why this news item went viral. It’s difficult to resist the temptation to spread a rumour that at once makes us (those in the know) feel superior and bemoan how clueless some of our fellow citizens might be.

So how do we know this is true?

Neither CNN nor the Chicago Tribune provide a link to the source of this information but after a few clicks I found the reference on iflscience.

Milk it for all its worth.

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, June is “National Dairy Month” in America. You might be forgiven because you probably had to contend with “Garlic day” or “Deep-Dish-Pizza Day”. As reported by NPR there are bucketful of made-up celebrations by industry groups of all stripes and pedigrees.

In addition to this crowded pasture of holidays, per capita consumption of milk plunged from 247 pounds per person in 1975 to 155 in 2015 according to USDA. (Spreadsheet).

We shall not be cowed.

One of the most effective weapons of PR is to publish surveys. In this particular case, the survey from which the 7% figure was milked is DairyGood. DairyGood itself is part of the National Dairy Council.

When asked to supply the data and methodology DairyGoods issued this answer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s