Starting in June, parents will be able to choose lowfat milk in single-serve, plastic bottles when ordering Happy Meals for their kids at more than 13,500 McDonald"s restaurants nationwide.
The new 8-ounce, re-sealable Milk Jugs feature Ronald McDonald surfing on a wave of milk. Parents will be able to order 1 percent white or chocolate milk in the fun, easy-to-hold bottles.
The initiative comes on the heels of a successful pilot test conducted in three cities. In those tests, milk sales at McDonald's increased by 400 percent.
"Sales of the Milk Jugs in our test markets have been brisk," said Lisa Frick, director of Menu Management at McDonald"s. "The results are telling us that moms and kids like this new offering."
The new milk-product offering is part of McDonald"s widely publicized efforts to offer healthful choices in its 13,500 restaurants nationwide.
The new single-serve, plastic containers will be available at participating McDonald"s restaurants starting on June 11. McDonald"s will use print and television advertising, in-store merchandising, staff training to "prompt" customers to choose milk with their order and public relations support that communicates milk as a healthy beverage to help launch the new milk products.
"Dairy producers played a key role in this launch through their checkoff program investment," says Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff. "If it weren't for our self-help program to build demand, this probably wouldn't have happened.
Introducing milk in contemporary, portable packaging in fast-food restaurants is part of the dairy checkoff"s effort to recapture milk as the beverage of choice for children. The combined effort of getting single-serve milks into fast-food restaurants and schools could move an additional 750 million pounds or more of milk annually, reports Dairy Management Inc.
"Helping kids get nutrition, taste and variety all in one new package is important to America"s dairy farmers, and we"re proud to be working with McDonald"s to help make milk a part of consumers" balanced lifestyle plans," said Tom Gallagher, CEO of DMI.
"It's a great partnership for MdDonald's and dairy producers alike," adds Rovey.
National Dairy Council, Dairy Management Inc.