SweetLeaf created sugar-free, fat-free chocolate milk and offered taste tests to Florida elementary and middle school students in three Florida counties in early May.
The “white chocolate” milk, made from skim milk mixed with chocolate flavored SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia, was a hit with students, according to the company. The taste test consisted of 99% elementary school tasters and 91% of middle-school tasters.
Since SweetLeaf has zero calories and zero sugar, the “white chocolate milk” reduces calories, sugars, fats and sodium, compared to the regular chocolate milk widely served in schools. The company stated that it can be a huge help to schools in meeting their mandate to reduce calories while encouraging milk consumption, and to reduce total levels of sodium, sugars and fats in meal programs.
“The milk gives kids the chocolate taste they prefer, without the added calories, sugars, fats and sodium that used to be required to achieve that taste,” said Michael P. May, Ph.D., vice president of Business Development for Wisdom Natural Brands.
“We know kids like it, and that they prefer it to skim,” May said. “This suggests that schools will be able to raise milk consumption and sales, while still achieving new nutrition requirements. With vanilla and strawberry versions on the way, kids – and schools – will soon have a real choice.”
The naturally sweetened milk also drew strong interest at the 2013 School Nutrition Show, held in Kansas City. May’s company is working with dairies and school districts around the country to make the solution widely available.
Made from organic, non-GMO stevia extract and natural flavors, SweetLeaf is completely free of the artificial sweeteners that have raised alarm among parents and nutrition experts.
Gilbert, Ariz.-based Wisdom Natural Brands is the parent company of the SweetLeaf Stevia brand.