Innovative flavors could make milk even cooler

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Milk consumption has been on a steady decline. Today, the average person in the United States drinks 9 fewer gallons of milk on an annual basis than he or she did in the early 1970s.  

Despite the trend, producers, restaurants and marketers have found a way to make milk more appealing, and that is through flavored milk — traditional chocolate and some not-so-traditional flavors like coffee, orange and root beer.

“There is something about chocolate milk that makes it much more fun,” said Tamara Browning, a mother of one-year-old twins from Lebanon, Tenn. “My children refuse to drink plain milk, but love chocolate. We buy nearly three times as much flavored milk as we do regular.”

According to milkdelivers.org, people love choices. Providing flavoring options for consumers increases the excitement for and consumption of milk. This can include typical flavors such as chocolate and strawberry milk, but also alternative flavors such as root beer, mocha or lime.

Last fall, Shatto Milk Company in Osborn, Mo., came out with coffee-flavored milk.

"It's been a big hit," says Barb Shatto. "It's been phenomenal, actually. Our sales, so far, have exceeded expectations," she adds.

Coffee-flavored milk plays off the recent trend in coffee specialty drinks, such as frappes and cappuccinos.

Shatto Milk Company also sells orange- and banana-flavored milk. The orange-flavored milk has a taste similar to an orange creamsicle.

"Kids think it's fun (to have these flavors)," Barb Shatto says. "It makes it more exciting for them."

This information was echoed by a study conducted through the National Dairy Council. Schools without flavored milk options saw milk consumption drop an average of 35 percent. This decline came from students either choosing other beverage options or throwing away unwanted milk.

“When I give my children strawberry or vanilla flavored milk it is almost like a treat,” said Brooke Grantham, of Nixa, Mo. “It doesn’t taste like milk, but is more like a dessert. My kids can still get the nutrients that they need, but they can also enjoy what they are drinking also.”



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Mary Parente    
Ontario, Calif.  |  January, 09, 2012 at 11:03 AM

As a child I loved chocolate milk. My strong bones reflect the consumption of calcium to this day. We need to establish a balance of cost vs creation of a product which will not contain excessive sugar. Your article does not say how much sugar you have added to the drink. We need to boost milk sales tremendously. Yours is a ter- rific start. Keep up the good work and share more ideas with us!

Sharon James    
Sharpsville Pa.  |  January, 11, 2012 at 08:37 AM

Congradulation on your success with th coffee-flavored milk study through the Nation Dairy Council. Milk is a essential nutrient in our diet, especially in today youth. While reading the article on chocolate comebace in Canada I was surprise at the comment made by the 5th grade teacher about the change she made with her student. She felt that chocolate mik had too much calories. The new law by FDA has reduce the fat content in chocolate milk. But kids don't get fat on just drinking milk but food also. Maybe this teacher should look into these coffee flavor milk for another option for her class. Keep up the good work.

Craig    
Williamsburg, VA  |  January, 13, 2012 at 01:07 PM

It is puzzling why in the last decade during the greatest explosion of non-CSD drinks in beverage history that milk sales remain flat to declining. While many explanations seem plausible, my theory is that milk is viewed by consumers as a product for specific uses /functions (breakfast, coffee additive, kid’s health) and times of day……. a true commodity. To grow milk sales that has to change, but HOW? If physical availability is such a key driver of ‘popularity’ (market share) then milk, which probably has the highest household penetration of any CPG beverage should dominate beverage sales. In this case it is mental availability that is lacking. The widely popular ‘Got Milk’ campaign was aimed at increasing awareness of refrigerator inventory status and replenishment (frequency of purchase) but did little to change the position of milk in the consumers’ mind. To grow sales, milk must attain status as a desired beverage alternative! Adding Flavors is STEP ONE. CHANGING consumer behavior is the next step. There are numerous ways to facilitate this. As a former VP Sales with Coke I know how, but this is not the proper forum. GREAT start!

Joel    
Wi.  |  February, 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Nice You Tube. If you google the brand name in it(Pakola), you'll be suprised its a company from Pakistan. Maybe our processors here are catching up to our foreign competitors.

J Itle    
Martinsburg, Pa.  |  February, 08, 2012 at 05:38 AM

By reducing or eliminating fat in milk have taken out the real natural flavoring agent, thus the answer is masking the real flavor of milk with artificial flavors?

Philip Lewis    
Salem, NY  |  March, 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

a) Whole milk is definitely tastier than skim, low-fat, etc.; b) Shatto Milk should be congratulated for developing and marketing new flavors; and c) milk is generally quite poorly marketed.


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