A recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution article addressed recent interest from companies like Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper/Seven Up in selling milk products.

"There's a ton of opportunity," Andrew Springate, director of brand marketing for Dr Pepper/Seven Up, told the Constitution. "Everyone is going to take a hard look at it."

The reason the big drink companies are looking at milk is after doing battle on the front lines of the soft-drink wars, milk is solid ground for a more minor yet still lucrative skirmishes,

John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, said soft drink companies could find success in some niches of the milk business.

"Most milk consumed today is either private label or brands that are not well recognized by consumers," Sicher said. "There's a great opportunity in the dairy category for the soft drink companies, which know how to create brands."

Milk is virtually tied with beer in U.S. market share of commercial beverages, trailing only soft drinks. Milk is also more paletable in places soft drinks have had trouble gaining acceptance, like schools.

Despite its availability, milk is not widely accepted by those attending the schools. That’s where the marketing tactics of the drink companies take over.

Dr Pepper/Seven Up is moving into this niche with Raging Cow. Currently being sold in the Midwest, Texas and California, with a national rollout planned for later, Raging Cow comes in flavors like Pina Colada Chaos and Chocolate Insanity.

"A lot of these flavored drinks are aimed at keeping teens drinking milk," she said.

What Americans Drink
Category - Mkt. Share in 2001
Carbonated soft drinks - 28.9%
Beer - 11.9%
Milk - 11.8%
Coffee - 9.3%
Bottled water - 7.9%
Juices and juice drinks - 5.8%
Tea - 3.8%
Powdered drinks - 2.5%
Sports drinks - 1.3%
Wine - 1.1%
Distilled spirits - 0.7%
Others, mainly tap water - 15%
Source: Beverage Digest

Atlanta Journal Constitution