Innovation Brewing to Increase High School Milk and Breakfast Sales

In honor of National Dairy Month, we’re sharing how these high schools increased milk sales and breakfast participation while getting students involved! 

Getting students to drink milk can often be a challenge, especially at the high school level. June is National Dairy Month, so it is the perfect time to implement creative strategies to increase milk sales. A rising trend among high schools is starting a coffee cart in order to increase milk sales and overall breakfast participation. Instead of making a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks before school for coffee and breakfast items, students can choose a more nutritious option conveniently located on campus.

Right outside of Cleveland, OH, the Mayfield High School Student Council led an initiative to bring “Cat’s Coffee Bar” to campus. With the help of the Mayfield School Service Department, the school was offered a $5,000 grant from the American Dairy Association. Students can choose from four 12-ounce coffee choices for $2.00 or $1.00 with a breakfast purchase. Soy milk and seasonal flavor are also available. All items sold at these coffee bars must meet USDA school meal and Smart Snack guidelines. These guidelines regulate the amount of milk, sugar, and espresso allowed as well as beverage sizes.

Cat’s Coffee Bar opened at the end of January 2017 and in just four months the cart served 229 gallons more milk than over the same time period last year. Also in that time period, 1,554 more breakfasts were sold than the previous year—that’s 14 more breakfasts per day!

The benefits of coffee carts go beyond sales. Like Mayfield, many coffee carts are run by the student council or business classes and clubs. For example at Fairmont High in Kettering, OH, Marketing Club Students operate the coffee bar in exchange for a stipend to the Marketing Fund and Digital Design students created the logo for their, “Korner Café.”

Whether you’re starting your own coffee stand or another grab-and-go breakfast program, the biggest lesson we can learn from Mayfield and Fairmont is that involving students in creative nutrition programs can yield amazing results!

Grants for these programs can be obtained from various sources including the America Dairy Association, Dairy MAX, and Statewide dairy councils. Learn about more ways to promote milk sales during National Dairy month here!

How Thinking “Out of the Bag” Increased Breakfast Participation at Liberal High School (KS)

free or reduced programWhen USD 480 Liberal School District (KS) realized the breakfast participation at Liberal High School was not only low, but extremely low, they knew they would have to approach the situation in a unique way. Of the 70% of students that qualified for free or reduced meals, only 11% were taking advantage of the breakfast program for various reasons. The solution would have to be extremely efficient, not cause tardiness or class disruptions and would of course have to meet the USDA nutrient standards from Final Rule.

The Child Nutrition Staff developed a “grab and go” breakfast bag complete with customized kiosks at the most heavily trafficked common areas at the school. These “Second Chance Breakfast” kiosks allowed students to quickly purchase or pickup a bag that included: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sausage biscuit or muffin, plus Go-Gurt® or string cheese, and milk, juice or apple slices. And participation did increase, but not immediately. It took a promotional campaign that included posters and videos from the school’s Graphic Arts and Video Production students to really put the campaign over the edge. And within eight weeks, the Second Chance Breakfast kiosks were selling 300 meals daily, compared to the 28 meals when the program initially launched.

For more information on how Liberal High School tackled their low breakfast participation numbers, read the complete article here and congratulations to the USD 480 Liberal School District Child Nutrition Department for their successful and creative campaign!

Photo courtesy of blogs.usda.gov.

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