Several dairy-friendly foods are among the fastest growing menu items at restaurants. And that’s good news for dairy producers, Cindy Haren, Western Dairy Council, told producers at Colorado Dairy Days earlier this year.

Milk made the top 10 list for fastest growing menu items in 2006, says Haren. Increased availability of bottled single serve flavored milks and the marketing efforts of several quick service restaurants led to 4 percent growth in foodservice milk sales last year.  

 According to data from NPD Foodworld other dairy-friendly foods in the top 10 list of fastest growing menu items for 2006 include:

  • Cheeseburger sales were up 3 percent compared to 2005.
  • The sale of malts, milkshakes and floats (all of which use milk) were up 10 percent compared to 2005.
  • Smoothies, most of which are dairy-based fruit smoothies, sales were up 23 percent. 
  • Specialty coffee drinks — lattés, cappuccinos, mochas, slushy frappuccino type beverages — were up 12 percent versus 2005.  The lion's share of these premium coffee drinks use class-1 fluid milk.

   NPD Foodworld, CREST 2006