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!

New Standard Eliminates Unhealthy School Snacks

Students across the country will have to say goodbye to unhealthy foods sold in school. On June 27th, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standard. The new regulation requires that only wholesome food options are provided in cafeterias, vending machines, and any other locations in schools where food is sold.

Smart Snacks in School has created guidelines that eliminate any snack that exceeds specific calorie, sodium, fat and sugar limits. Products such as candy, cookies, potato chips, and soda will have to be replaced with items such as granola bars, fruit cups and other healthier options like natural whey proteinSmart Snacks in School

The standard was created under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was established in 2010. Students will still be allowed to bring bagged lunches to school and classrooms as the standards only applies to school-sold food items. Schools as well as food and beverage companies will have until the end of next school year to make the necessary adjustments that adhere to the new standard.

At Meals Plus, we are excited to witness another significant stride towards healthier food in school lunchrooms! For more details about the Smart Snacks in School standard, visit usda.gov

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