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USA 06.02.2024

USA: National Dairy Council and Chartwells K12 Launch Hot Chocolate Milk Program in Schools

Source: The DairyNews
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A new partnership between the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Chartwells K12 is introducing the Hot Chocolate Milk program in 58 schools, serving over 2 million meals daily across 700 U.S. school districts.
USA: National Dairy Council and Chartwells K12 Launch Hot Chocolate Milk Program in Schools
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The pilot program, set to run through the end of the school year, features hot chocolate milk with additional toppings like cinnamon and peppermint during breakfast and lunch.

Following the success of a previous collaboration on a dairy-based smoothie program, the partners sought to innovate further and identified hot chocolate as a trending option. The global market for hot chocolate was valued at $3.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $5.77 billion by 2030. Chocolate also ranks as the second most popular beverage flavor on TikTok, with over 10.1 million views under #ChocolateDrink.

Lisa Hatch, Vice President of Business Development for NDC's school channel, noted that previous state and regional hot chocolate programs resulted in a 14-percent increase in milk sales and an 11-percent boost in breakfast participation.

Chartwells K12 is optimistic about the popularity of hot chocolate milk among students and its potential to enhance overall meal participation in schools. Lindsey Palmer, Vice President of Nutrition and Industry Relations for Chartwells K12, highlighted the concept as a healthy and enjoyable option that aligns with the rising demand for specialty beverages.

Katie Bambacht, Vice President of Nutrition Affairs for NDC, emphasized the importance of chocolate milk in schools, citing research that positions it as the most popular milk choice, leading to higher total milk consumption and improved overall diet quality. The pilot program aims to address participation gaps in school feeding programs, especially during breakfast.

Schools participating in the pilot received a Hot Chocolate Milk kit, including a transport cart, an insulated beverage dispenser, a digital thermometer, and more, provided by NDC through foodservice equipment manufacturer Hubert.

For more information about the dairy checkoff program, visit www.usdairy.com.
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February 2024
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