Random Thoughts From a New Father
Just when I thought I knew what it feels like to get
kicked in the stomach …
White Wave is trumpeting data showing its half-gallon
Silk Chocolate soymilk is now America’s best-selling product in the
chocolate milk category, beating out dairy-based standard bearers like
Nesquik and Hershey’s to the tune of $13 million in sales for a
two-week period this past April.
Now, it’s bad enough that milk has been taking a beating from
pop, juice and other beverages. But at least chocolate milk has been able to
win its own category.
The fact that White Wave is owned by Dean softens the blow somewhat, since these
sales are ultimately going into a dairy company’s coffers. Of course, I know
soy offers significant health benefits, and has its place in the American diet.
But such an invasion on dairy’s home turf just seems so wrong.
According to White Wave’s press release, consumers are turning
to Silk Chocolate for its taste: “With a smooth, creamy texture and a healthy
dose of real Dutch-process cocoa — something missing from most chocolate milk
brands — many chocolate lovers are finding that Silk Soymilk makes the best-tasting
chocolate drink around.”
That sounds like a challenge to me. We all know that
taste trumps most if not all other factors when consumers choose food
products. So let’s get busy, all you processors of real chocolate
milk. Get to work and fix this, so soymilk’s ascension in the
chocolate arena is a one-time blip on the radar screen.
Tell Jack those soybeans ain’t magic and to take
his cow back home where she belongs.
I noticed something interesting when I stopped to pick
up a gallon of milk on my way home from work recently, here in suburban
Chicago. Amid soaring market prices, milk actually was on sale — all
gallons, $1.99. Whoa! Then I noticed every gallon in the case was coded for
only four days hence. Looks to me like people have been buying less milk
since prices took off, leaving this retailer with a stockpile that it
needed to move fast.
Any processors seeing more returns of merchandise
since the market went crazy? Are consumers swapping their $4 gallons of 2%
for 99-cent jugs of pop and using the savings to shore up their gasoline
Oh, and then there’s this little thing called
the Top 100 that we have once again this month. The Big Three are still at
the top, but there was some interesting movement down below over the past
Funny how something like a new baby in the house can
divert your attention from such things. We were in the thick of preparing
this annual monster feature when my wife gave birth to our daughter, Mia
Rose. Sleep has become a luxury, and I’ve been tempted to hang onto
those earplugs they give you on plant visits.
But fatherhood is a true joy, and I’m looking forward to adding
a gallon of whole milk to the shopping list. Meanwhile, I must confess — we
did use that free sample of soy-based baby formula that came to the house a
few weeks ago.
You have my word that won’t happen again.
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