‘Moove’ Over, Soda

Milk expands its reach.
Is milk replacing soda in schools? Recent findings show that milk is inching out other beverage choices in school vending machines throughout the country, especially in America’s Dairyland — Wisconsin.
Indeed, two-thirds of Wisconsin’s high schools have milk vending machines. And milk product selections in today’s modern machines are extensive, ranging from chocolate and cookies n’ cream to nonalcoholic eggnog and lowfat and whole white milk.
According to Laura Wilford, director of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s (WMMB) state Dairy Council, the state has 365 milk vending machines in high schools.
As a money-making project, says Wilford, Future Farmers of America clubs operate about half of the vending in Wisconsin schools while school foods services operate 40 percent.
In a state that claims milk as its state beverage and the dairy cow its domestic animal, dairy producers quickly got behind the effort to bring milk machines to schools. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board pays $100 to schools that install milk vending machines, says Wilford.
Nationwide, there are more than 7,000 machines dispensing milk in schools — most of which have been installed over the past three to four years in an effort to push kids toward a healthier diet.
Source: Associated Press/AP Online.

2005 Ice Cream Technology Conference
Registration is now open for the Inter­national Ice Cream Association’s 2005 Ice Cream Technology Conference, the popular annual program that brings together frozen dessert professionals to discuss the latest technological and regulatory issues facing their industry. This year’s program will be held March 2 to 4 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Phoenix-Scottsdale Golf Resort in Phoenix.  m  The conference is the industry’s only meeting that focuses exclusively on frozen dessert technologies, including freezing technologies, flavor development, homogenization pressures and product formulation.  m  Conference speakers will also cover new regulatory challenges for the ice cream industry, particularly labeling requirements that will take effect within the next year. In fact, the program will kick off with an in-depth presentation by current and former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials on the agency’s new food allergen labeling rules, which must be adopted by January 1, 2006. Additional sessions will focus on nutrition and marketing trends, including an update on what’s happening with no-sugar-added, low-carb and premium products.  m  Register now for this limited-space workshop. For the first time, suppliers are invited to attend all conference sessions.
For more information, visit www.idfa.org.