The Midwest Dairy Association recently introduced the new Gridiron Milk branded product line to schools and retail grocery stores for the 2007 NFL season. Roberts Dairy Company, Omaha, Neb., is distributing the product line in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Gridiron Milk is packaged in 8-ounce plastic resealable containers and features all 32 collective NFL team marks, as well as highlights NFLRush.com, the NFL's interactive Web site for kids.

Kids know milk helps athletes play well. Drinking Gridiron Milk at school and at home is one way kids can get the same nutritional benefits for their own growing bodies, says Lori Lackner, Midwest Dairy Association retail marketing manager.

Gridiron Milk is available year-round in a variety of flavors, including fat-free, 1 percent and 2 percent white; fat-free and 2 percent chocolate; and fat-free strawberry.

The goal for the Gridiron Milk product line is to increase overall milk sales and consumption.

"Through the marketing efforts of Roberts, Midwest Dairy and the NFL, we are providing a product that incorporates one of the most recognizable and popular sports brands everywhere milk can be or should be offered," says Jon Bebermeyer, Roberts Dairy Company general sales manager.

"It is a win-win for all of the parties involved. Participating schools, dairy farmers and Roberts all have a stake in presenting milk in new and innovative ways that are attractive to consumers," says Midwest Dairy Association chief executive officer Mike Kruger.

Additionally, Midwest Dairy Association believes Gridiron Milk will help increase the number of schools offering New Look of School Milk, a program that presents milk prominently in attractive plastic containers that appeal to students. Research has shown that kids consume more milk when it is offered cold, in different flavors, and in fun, grab-and-go containers.

"Many kids aren't meeting the daily requirement for calcium, putting them at risk for osteoporosis later in life. Selling Gridiron Milk in schools offers students a nutritious and delicious beverage that's fun to drink. And, one bottle provides almost a third of a student's daily calcium needs," says Stephanie Cundith, registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy Association.

"The NFL is thrilled to add another element to our partnership with Dairy Management, Inc. with the introduction of Gridiron Milk. This innovative healthy offering for kids complements very well the NFL's long-term commitment to improving the health and fitness of the next generations," says Peter O'Reilly, NFL Director of Marketing.

Elementary, middle and high schools in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska are being serviced with the Gridiron Milk product line. Schools that sell Gridiron Milk are eligible for incentives, including promotional items, sweepstakes and scholarship opportunities, as well as participation in dairy display contests.

Consumers in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma can find the product at a variety of locations including retail grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, as well as in vending machines.

Initially, Midwest Dairy is working with Roberts to distribute the product in the Midwest region. However, if processors in other parts of the country show interest in the product, it is possible that distribution of Gridiron Milk could become more widespread.

For more information, go to: www.midwestdairy.com.

Source: PRNewswire