Schools, Got Milk? Consumer Panel Results

Articles
September 28, 2010

Schools, Got Milk? Consumer Panel Results

The Lempert Report polled the Supermarket Guru consumer panel to find out exactly what consumers think about milk served in schools. Here’s what they thought:

Whether it’s the raw milk enthusiasts or those for pasteurization, or the debate if chocolate milk is appropriate for children, or should even be served in schools, milk has been making headlines recently. A great source of a handful of nutrients including calcium, iodine, phosphorous, vitamin D (fortified) and protein, milk is considered a food that promotes good health. The Lempert Report polled the Supermarket Guru consumer panel to find out exactly what consumers think about milk served in schools. Here’s what they thought:
 
The vast majority of consumers, 92% percent, still believe milk should be served in schools. Thirty-three percent feel that school kids should have the option of two percent milk, and 25 percent feel that skim and one percent milk should also be available. Only 16 percent believe whole milk should be served in schools. About three quarters of the consumer panel believe kids should be able to choose the type of milk and also think that schools should serve milk alternatives.
 
Currently, 71 percent of the milk served in schools across the country is flavored. For example, New York City school food officials report that fat-free chocolate milk fills approximately 60 percent of the 100 million cartons served each year while plain milk only accounts for about one percent. Over half of the Supermarket Guru consumer panel objects to flavored milk in schools even when given the information that flavored milk (i.e. chocolate milk) has been said to encourage milk consumption. Just under half of the survey participants cite sugar content, high fructose corn syrup and calories as the main reasons for their flavored milk objection; while 12 percent report that they don't serve it at home, so they don't want it served in schools.  
 
It appears that the majority of the consumer panel still believes in milk’s nutritious, health promoting power, as 61 percent think schools should serve two or more servings a day. Thirty percent believe one serving will suffice, while nine percent believe milk should be taken off the menu. 
 
What types of milk are most popular in the home? Low fat milk is the most popular (41%), followed by skim milk at 25 percent, and whole milk at 11 percent. Soy and almond followed in popularity at eight and six percent respectively. The least popular include rice, goat's, raw, hemp, and lactose free milk.
 
Clearly milk is still regarded as a health food in the majority of households, but the objection to flavored milk undoubtedly holds true.