Thoughts That Go Bump In the Night
James Dudlicek
(847) 405-4009
The carbonated beverage giants are continuing their push into dairy territory. Coca-Cola is pursuing a controlling interest in Bravo Foods, makers of the popular Slammers fortified, flavored milk co-branded with comic heroes and other youthful pop culture tie-ins. Meanwhile, Pepsi has unveiled its Quaker Milk Chillers line.
So while Pepsi is launching its own milk offering, Coke is apparently abandoning its own efforts in favor of acquiring someone who’s doing it right — both in the face of school systems seeking to banish nutritionally vacant sodas from student menus, new milk-friendlier federal school nutrition guidelines and studies showing good-tasting milk in fancy packaging sells well among the young.
I say “bravo!” to Bravo for building up a company so successful that one of the big guys just has to have it. And kudos to Coke for giving up on the frankenmilk products and jumping on the real dairy milk bandwagon.
But dairy processors better make sure consumers don’t forget who was there first.
As the FDA considers whether to lift a voluntary ban on selling food from cloned animals, trade groups for both dairy processors and farmers are leery about introducing milk from cloned cows to consumers.
“There’s a strong general feeling among our members that consumers are not receptive to milk from cloned cows,” the IDFA’s Susan Ruland told the Associated Press. “This seems to be one of the things where technology seems to drop something in the lap of the food companies. “It’s not driven by the market or any benefit to the consumer.”
The NMPF told AP it “does not at this time support milk from cloned cows entering the marketplace until FDA determines that milk from cloned cows is the same as milk from conventionally bred animals.”
That’s a relief. Two-thirds of American consumers responding to a 2002 Gallup poll said cloning animals was “morally wrong,” and a March survey by the International Food Information Council reported that 63 percent of consumers likely would not buy food from cloned animals, even if deemed safe by the FDA.
Meanwhile, the debate over rBST continues to rage inside and outside the industry. I don’t think the industry is ready to add another front to its war of words over modern production technologies.