Thanks to single-serve flavored milks, teens have started drinking more milk!

According to a report by the National Family Opinion’s Share of Intake Panel (SIP) for the first time in six years, teens are drinking more milk instead of less. Although soft drinks remain the top beverage consumed by 13- to 17-year-olds, the new report indicates that at least some of them are trading in soft drinks for milk.

The rise in teen milk consumption is attributed to single-serve flavored milks that are available in a wide range of locations including vending machines and convenience stores — two places teens frequent. Marketing efforts aimed at teens, including the use of teen idols with milk mustaches, have helped make drinking milk cool among teens.

The introduction of more than 100 new milk products in the last year boosted consumption, too.

The SIP report shows that annual per capita milk consumption among teens in 2001 hit 22 gallons. That’s an increase of 3 percent. This consumption rise means milk’s share of the teen beverage market has also increased to 25.1 percent. That’s a bump of 1.7 percent. And it’s the soft drink companies that have seen the loss of market share.

This trend is significant in that milk consumption had been in a downward direction for the last two decades.

Nutrition experts say the creative new flavors contain the same amount of calcium and other nutrients essential for good health as white milk. And they suggest that this upward consumption trend may help reverse calcium deficiencies found among U.S. children and teens, while not increasing overall dietary added sugar or fat intakes.

For more information about the many flavors of milk, go to the Web site at: http://www.whymilk.com

PRNewswire, MilkPEP Board and Dairy Management Inc.