Milk doesn't just come in plain white anymore.
In the past three years or so, dairies large and small have begun offering more flavored milks than ever -- in more varieties, and packaged in convenient single-serve containers. Chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milks seem so passé compared to new flavors like periwinkle-hued blueberry milk and dulce de leche, a caramel flavor. Others are coming out with even more sophisticated tastes including French vanilla and mocha cappuccino to their milk lines.
Why the change? Total milk sales have been flat or falling in the past decade, and they are way down from 1970, when U.S. consumption peaked at 32 gallons per person. Sales of flavored milks, on the other hand, have been steadily rising since 1991 to 440 million gallons sold in 2001; sales were up 8 percent in 2002 over the year before. Chocolate is the most popular flavor, according to the U.S. National Dairy Council.
Regional dairies see flavored milks as a way to bolster flagging overall sales. Despite the higher sugar content, drinking flavoured milk beats soda anyday when it comes to nutrients.
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