Generating a premium retail revival

Flavored milk also is growing its presence in the retail sector, where white milk sales have been declining for more than 30 years. Opportunities exist in more indulgent flavors and formulations, as well as nutritionally enhanced flavored milks.

Dean Foods, Dallas, has been busy expanding its line of TruMoo flavored milk products. In addition to chocolate, the line now includes strawberry and coffee flavors as well as the TruMoo Protein Plus milk that is available in such flavors as chocolate and vanilla.
Prairie Farms flavored milks
Prairie Farms is experiencing a double-digit growth rate for retail flavored milk sales.

Prairie Farms is experiencing a double-digit growth rate for retail flavored milk sales, with its premium chocolate milk leading the way.

“This is being driven by consumer acceptance of the fact that dairy fat is good for you,” Ms. Leinenbach said. “We will continue to develop retail products based on consumption trends, and we’re glad to see the shift to higher milk fat content. The flavor and texture of whole milk lends itself well to formulate rich and creamy flavored milk products.”

The company has been aggressive in launching new milk flavors, with eight new flavors introduced since 2014. By offering the flavors as limited-edition products, consumers feel the urgency to purchase and try before the product sells out, according to the company.

“Prairie Farms egg nog has enjoyed great consumer appeal for decades,” Ms. Leinenbach said. “About nine years ago, we decided to add cordials to accompany the traditional holiday lineup. The original flavors were pumpkin spice, chocolate mint and Irish cream. Two of the three, pumpkin spice and chocolate mint, are perennial favorites and have remained in the product lineup. We replaced Irish cream with a variety of flavor options, including candy cane, red velvet and Snickerdoodle.

“Our customers told us that they wanted a variety of specialty milk flavors beyond the typical October to December season,” she said. “So in March 2014, we launched the first of such offerings in three flavors: jelly bean, chocolate marshmallow and Easter egg nog. Given the success of Easter-themed flavors, we followed up with dark chocolate truffle, strawberry banana and vanilla cupcake for summer and then peanut butter chocolate and Spooktacular egg nog for fall.”

This year Prairie Farms entered into a partnership with Just Born Inc., Bethlehem, Pa., manufacturers of Peeps marshmallow candies. The two companies joined to expand the brand into the dairy category with Peeps flavored milks. Within days of the March launch, requests for it were coming in from coast to coast.

While the Peeps milks were making headlines, the company was preparing to launch its summer offering. Formulated by the cooperative’s corporate chef, the Chef’s Splendor line debuted in three reduced-fat flavors: dark chocolate truffle, sea salt caramel and vanilla chai latte. The company plans to introduce new Chef’s Splendor flavors this holiday season.

Promised Land Dairy, Dallas, is also known for its decadent, premium flavored milks. Made with Jersey milk, which is naturally creamier and higher in protein and calcium than Holstein milk, mainstay flavors include cookies and cream and mint chocolate chip. This autumn, the company introduced a pumpkin spice flavor, which joins other seasonal flavors such as salted caramel latte and peaches and cream.