School Milk Facts
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Looking for more information about school milk? Look here for best practices and key facts for milk and schools.
Best Practices Checklist for Milk in Schools
By following these very simple practices for milk in schools, you can see increased milk consumption, increased milk sales, and a happy and healthy student population:
- Offer a variety of flavors: Flavors make milk hip and exciting. Offer a minimum of three flavors in schools - students love choices. And mix or rotate in new flavors—like root beer, mocha, or dulce del leche—regularly to increase excitement and consumption.
- Fun packaging is important: Whether you offer an improved paper carton or new plastic single-serves, better and more interesting packaging goes a long way to improve milk's image. Offer a full range of sizes, from a smaller 8 oz to a larger 16 oz. Having the correct size makes the student feel that the package is "just for me."
- Think of new places and opportunities to offer milk: Volume increase is highest when milk is offered everywhere — meal line, a la carte and vending, before and after school.
- Make milk easy to find: Is it displayed with other ready to drink beverages? Consider new coolers that make milk easy to see, easy to reach and refreshingly cold. Glass front coolers/ merchandisers/ vending machines increase visibility and interest.
- Milk is a nutritious vending choice kids love: Maximize vending machines in all available school locations. Vending machines placed outside of the cafeteria in high traffic areas allow for all-day access. That way, children who stay after school/weekends for extra curricular activities can buy milk.
- Keep your cool! Warm milk is never cool.
- Maximize the Public Relations Opportunity: Schools are under increasing pressure to offer healthy foods that kids will CHOOSE. Don't miss the opportunity to make headlines at your school by implementing positive changes to your milk offer. It's easy.
- Capitalize on strength of National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.
- The milk brand is strong. The National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign is one of the country's most recognizable and loved marketing programs.
- Kids and teens love "got milk?" posters, T-shirts, and other giveaways. Consider a milk promotion to increase your milk sales. Talk to your local processor for free posters and giveaways!
- Stage a "milk mustache" event at your school! Even better, tie it into a milk sampling event to get students excited. Let us show you how.
- One large school district (over 15,000 students) saw an 82.6% increase in volume when they had free sampling, posters and ticket giveaways to introduce new milk flavors in fun packages and multiple sizes in their elementary, middle and high schools.
- Schools in the National School Lunch Program must meet federal nutrition requirements (including serving milk) to receive subsidies; the 2004 Child Nutrition Act encourages the NSLP to serve milk in a variety of flavors and fat contents.
- As students get older they start choosing sodas and juices instead of healthy milk. From age 9-17, boys' lunchtime milk consumption drops 60% (6.3 to 2.6 gals/yr). From age 11-17, girls' lunchtime milk consumption drops 75% (4.8 to 1.2 gals/yr)
- Several industry studies prove that if students have a variety of milk to choose from on the lunch line, they’ll buy more milk. By adding new flavors in cool packaging, consumption in some schools increased by as much as 35%.
- Some new nutritional guidelines may threaten your flavored milk offerings on the lunch line. Don’t give up on flavored milk! Talk to your milk processor about finding lower calorie flavored milks. Remember, 70% of milk sold in schools is flavored milk.
Á La Carte
- Shorter lunch periods and increased revenue potential make a la carte options quick and profitable for schools and popular with kids. Milk is a healthy solution for a la carte programs.
- Offering milk in a variety of fun flavors, sizes, and packaging can make milk just as attractive as many of the less nutritional options in the a la carte line.
- Vending milk allows students to choose a nutritious beverage anytime, anywhere in schools.
- Vending is the solution for common school milk challenges like limited availability, limited flavors/fat levels, “uncool” image, warm temperature, waiting in line, inflexible pricing, and low profit opportunity.
- Some schools show that adding milk to their vending machines resulted in a 40% increase in milk consumption and a 60% increase in total vending sales.
- If the significant investment for a milk machine is prohibiting you, consider leasing a machine or contacting your local dairy council to see if they can offer financial assistance.
Breakfast and After School
- Breakfast and after school programs are on the rise for two key reasons—they provide increased nutritional value to students and a significant profit opportunity for schools.
- Milk is a solution all day, every day—including these critical breakfast and after school program. Milk provides a nutritional boost and helps kids fuel up for learning.
- In case studies, milk at breakfast increases with the addition of plastic resealable bottles and more flavor choices.
- After school programs say milk is their #1 snack for kids. It’s filling, nutritious, comes in school flavors and gives kids a needed boost before completing their homework assignments.
For more information on improving school milk programs, download this brochure.
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