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!

Coming Soon: A Complete Checklist for Marketing Your Child Nutrition Program

Meals Plus offers more than a complete technology suite for your child nutrition department backed by the best technical support around. We also offer free downloads that help make every aspect of managing your department easier! Since our first white paper, “Not All Doom and Legume: Your Survival Guide to the USDA Meal Pattern Requirements,” was published in 2012, we have explored how to examine the financial health of your child nutrition department, best practices for managing your inventory, and tips to speed up your cafeteria lunchlines. And our next download offers a close look at how to market your program to parents and students and increase participation.

The new white paper examines the “Five P’s” of promoting your program: Product, Placement, Promotion, Price and People, and will be available for download this winter. And like some of our other white papers, it was written by Cynthia Sevier, SNS, former Child Nutrition Director of Guilford County Schools (NC), who has over 30 years of experience in school food service. She is currently the Child Nutrition Operations Consultant for Meals Plus, traveling the country helping schools with personnel training, pre-CRE reviews, menu preparation assistance and more.

Keep an eye on our blog and subscribe to our e-newsletter for a release date of “The Five P’s of Promoting Your Child Nutrition Program.” And download our other white papers here!

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