Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flavors Make Milk Yummy

Prairie Farms Dairy made national headlines this Easter week for its new seasonal flavored milk: Jelly Bean. This low-fat milk delicately sweetened with a sugar and monk fruit juice combination is bursting with fruity jellybean flavor.

At only 150 calories per 8-ounce serving, it’s the perfect guilt-free sweet treat anyone can enjoy. Jelly Bean is joined by two other limited-edition concepts: Chocolate Marshmallow and Easter Eggnog.

“Consumers are looking for new and exciting flavors of milk,” says Rebecca Leinenbach, sales program director at Prairie Farms. “Our newest flavor creations capture the essence of spring and are sure to become family favorites for years to come.” These products combine real milk with just the right amount of flavoring to create tasty, fun treats that also provide essential nutrients like protein and calcium.

Less than a month ago, a first in the dairy industry rolled out: MilkSplash. Created and marketed by North Carolina-based S&D Beverage Innovations, MilkSplash comes in a variety of great-tasting flavors, fun colors and engaging characters such as Cocoa Loco, Cookies ‘N Cream, Jammin’ Banana, Orange Cream Dream and Sir Strawberry Swirl.

The innovative new milk flavorings debuted in select Target stores at the end of March. They are rolling out this week nationally at Walmart and other retailers.

“We created MilkSplash to give kids lots of wonderful options to flavor their milk because research shows nearly seven in 10 kids drink more milk when it’s flavored--and we know that kids need to drink more milk,” says Maya Zuniga, director of product innovation at S&D. “With milk consumption declining for decades, many children miss out on the recommended amount of milk and its essential nutrients, including three that are of most concern: calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

“Moms are also concerned about the amount of sugar in the beverages their children drink according to a recent nationwide survey, so they’ll be pleased to know that MilkSplash is zero calorie,” she adds.

Following in the footsteps of liquid water enhancers and the positive impact they have had on water consumption, MilkSplash milk flavoring is doing the same for kids and milk.

“We’re defining a new category of highly concentrated liquid milk flavorings and offering more choices than kids have ever had before,” says John Buckner, vice president of marketing at S&D, who is overseeing the MilkSplash launch. “Chocolate and strawberry syrups and powders have been among the limited options for adults and kids alike, until now. MilkSplash is launching with five flavors but there are many more in the pipeline, as well as all-natural versions of MilkSplash in development.”

Every small bottle of MilkSplash makes at least 24 servings, requiring just a gentle squeeze and simple stir to turn white milk into a delicious treat kids love that lets them enjoy milk on their own terms. The suggest retail price is $4.50.

“Moms love MilkSplash because it encourages kids to make healthier beverage choices,” says Zuniga. “They also appreciate that it’s not messy like powder or syrup flavorings and can be taken to school in a backpack or lunchbox, or dropped in a bag for a trip to the mall or the park.”

It’s time to shake things up and add variety, delicious flavors and cute characters that will get kids excited about milk and flavoring it their way. The company’s dream is to have kids ask mom: May I have some more milk, please?

Buckner says that even in the very short time that MilkSplash has been available, consumers are already telling the company that MilkSplash is the reason their children are drinking, finishing and returning to milk. Many parents report buying as much as twice the amount of milk that they were previously purchasing, he says.

“We hear that kids love the unexpected flavors,” says Buckner. “It is gratifying to offer a product that increases milk consumption.”

The company is interested in all types of partnerships to get kids to drink more milk. This includes in-store cross promotions such as on-pack couponing, co-merchandising and sampling. “We also want to participate in events and education that promote drinking milk,” says Buckner.

The trade has been very receptive to MilkSplash, which is the first product in a long time to bring innovation to the milk flavoring category. “Retailers love the MilkSplash brand name, the shelf presence of our cute flavor characters and the way MilkSplash drives milk sales,” says Buckner.

So just how did MilkSplash come to life? “In our research we found that consumers love the compact size and portability of some of the miniature bottles of water enhancers that you in the marketplace today,” says Buckner. “They fit in a purse, lunchbox or back pack. We picked our teddy bear-shaped bottle because it was both distinctive and ergonomic, fitting perfectly in small hands.

“The bottle shape inspired our CEO, who immediately saw a character personality on the packaging,” he adds. “Since kids love flavored milk, we decided that we would give them all the flavors they always imagined but until now, never believed were possible. The flavor names double as the names of our characters.”

The characters come to life in a village called Splash Landing and kids can visit this special place when a parent assists them in finding MilkSplash at

“Our formulations required many months of research and development,” he says. “After extensive testing, we feel we achieved the perfect balance of sweetness, flavor, color and creaminess to compliment milk.”

For more information about MilkSplash, including how dairy processors can partner with the brand, click HERE, or call 855-MILKPLZ855-MILKPLZ.

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