It didn’t take long for bottled milk to become a hit when offered in vending machines to Madison, Wis., high school students.

Last fall the school board dumped its exclusive vending contract with Coca-Cola and decided to offer milk as a healthier alternative. Many didn’t think it would work, but now the kitchen staff struggle to keep the vending machines stocked with the four flavors of milk offered: chocolate, chocolate malt, reduced fat white and reduced fat strawberry.

In the four weeks since the machine was installed, students at Madison’s West High School have bought about 200 16-ounce bottles of milk every day. The cost is $1 per bottle. All four high schools in Madison report strong milk sales.

Although Coca-Cola lost its exclusive vending agreement with the schools, Coke and other soda products are still sold in the schools alongside the milk vending machines.

In addition to schools such as Madison, Wis., who have requested the milk vending machines, the dairy industry is currently running a national test of milk vending machines in five cities: Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Omaha, Neb., and Austin, Texas.

Associated Press