WASHINGTON-The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) is working to help improve the offering of milk in schools through a new program it calls "Capturing the School Milk Opportunity." The organization says many milk processors are already using the program in talking with schools about milk in the coming 2004-05 school year.
The program suggests different options for processors and school foodservice directors to use, such as merchandising changes, offering new flavors of milks, and creating different packaging. The program includes 15 case studies that outline success stories from various processors and schools to give other processors and schools a springboard to formulate their own plans.
"There is ‘no one-size fits all approach' to make the school milk experience more positive for students, but we want to be sure processors and schools are aware of the many different options they have to improve this business channel," says International Dairy Foods Association Vice President of Marketing Tom Nagle. "Schools are re-negotiating their milk contracts now, so they and processors need to act quickly to implement some of these changes in time for the next school year."
The program includes customizable spreadsheets so that processors and foodservice directors can evaluate how different improvements will affect school milk sales and to allow for easy cost analysis. Other materials provide ways to track and measure a program's success.
Huge potential increases in milk volume are at stake. The school milk channel represents 6% of all milk sales volume, but comprises the most individual units sold and the most consumer purchase occasions.