International Dairy Foods Association

Milk Industry Foundation National Cheese Institute International Ice Cream Association

Chocolate Milk Sales Jump Following Refuel Program Launch

Oct 03, 2012

Chocolate milk sales for the months of July and August rose significantly, according to two recent reports. IRI/Symphony, a market research firm, reports that sales volume for chocolate milk sold in grocery, drug, club, dollar and military outlets grew 8.3 percent for the 13 weeks ending September 9, 2012, when compared to the same period in 2011.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics for the month of July also showed strong sales volume with an 8.6 percent increase across all channels selling flavored milk.

The timing corresponds with a major new initiative, introduced by the Milk Processor Education Program in March, that highlights chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink. The REFUEL | “got chocolate milk?” program highlights chocolate milk as a cornerstone of the after-workout rituals of some of the world’s best athletes, underscored with the tagline “My After.”

Without serving as an official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, MilkPEP took advantage of the games as Olympic athletes and others delivered messages about the importance of refueling with chocolate milk. Chocolate milk as a recovery drink of Olympians was covered in three national morning talk show segments, three national newspapers and a plethora of mainstream online stories. The combined reach for these stories was more than 32 million impressions.

"While we don't know what proportion of this gain has been driven by the REFUEL | “got chocolate milk?” program, we do know that this is the highest sales gain reported by USDA since early 2010 and possibly longer," said Julia Kadison, MilkPEP vice president of marketing. "These numbers are clearly a bright spot on the milk landscape."

The science behind refueling with low-fat chocolate milk presents a new usage occasion for milk. MilkPEP believes changing the patterns of adult athletes will help convert new milk drinkers and provide lapsed users with another reason to drink milk. It also may create a halo effect that could lead to more in-home consumption of chocolate milk among all family members.

For more information, contact Donna Armstrong, MilkPEP senior communications manager, at darmstrong@milkpep.org.