When the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) launched its REFUEL|got chocolate milk? campaign last March, organizers wanted to promote chocolate milk as more than just a childhood treat; it's also an ideal sports recovery drink.

Recent data show that the campaign was a huge success. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, chocolate milk sales in July and August rose significantly, growing by 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2011.  

"While we don't know what proportion of this gain has been driven by the REFUEL|got chocolate milk? program, we do know that this is the highest sales gain reported by USDA since early 2010 and possibly longer," Julia Kadison, MilkPEP vice president of marketing, said in a news release. "These numbers are clearly a bright spot on the milk landscape."

Both print, online and television advertisements for the campaign feature athletes including Carmelo Anthony, a basketball player for the New York Knicks and USA Basketball’s men’s national team; Dara Torres, an Olympic medal-winning swimmer, and Mirinda Carfrae, world champion triathlete. Each athlete details how chocolate milk plays a role in his or her after-workout routiine.

Science backs-up MilkPEP’s claims, with one study published in a 2012 issue of Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showing that runners who refueled with fat-free chocolate milk instead of a carbohydrate-only beverage performed better than competitors who didn’t. Read more here.