Prairie Farms taps on-demand hot chocolate milk dispensing
A dispenser for foodservice operations, like those in stadia, enables sales of hot chocolate.
A new kind of compact technology that dispenses hot chocolate milk on-demand at concession venues including major sporting events and others has a new fan: Prairie Farms Dairy.
Stacy Wand, sales manager, Prairie Farms, Dubuque, IA, has been actively involved for several months assisting start-up venture Gourmet Dispensing with sales and marketing efforts that will benefit both organizations.
Gourmet Dispensing offers a high-throughput countertop system that adapts seamlessly to standard cold beverage setups using standard 5-gallon bag-in-boxes of chocolate milk kept chilled in under-counter coolers and dispensed as needed through tubing connected directly to the Gourmet Dispensing system. The patent-pending system uses efficient, indirect heating to dispense up to 96 ounces of hot chocolate milk a minute.
“We’ve been surprised at the high-volume output that this compact machine can attain and at the operator’s ability to accurately control the dispensing temperature,” observes Wand.
The system can provide hot, healthy beverages to boost stadium sales during chilly weather when cold beverage sales drop along with the temperatures. Until now, the only other option concessionaires had was to provide powdered chocolate mix and hot water to customers.
“The technology opens a new, innovative opportunity for us to reach consumers with real chocolate milk,” says Wand. “We are not aware of any alternate technology. This is an excellent branding opportunity for Prairie Farms to be visible at high-profile events.”
This fall the system was in use at Comerica Park in Detroit for the 2012 American League baseball playoffs and in use at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the 2012 National League playoffs between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. The system had proved a hit at Busch Stadium during the 2011 World Series.
The system was used successfully at Chicago Bears football games at Soldier Field last season and is being used again there this season. It also debuted at Chicago’s popular Christ Kindl Market during the 2011 holiday season when it was used to dispense Glühwein, a spiced German wine, and other hot beverages.
Wand says that the feedback has been “very positive. We feel that we are part of helping to create a new venue that permits real dairy products to compete in the beverage category.”