What’s better than a tasty hot chocolate to warm you up after being out in the cold? Easy answer: One made with rich chocolate milk!

In early February, American Dairy Association North East rolled out a new Hot Chocolate Milk program to more than 20 schools following a pilot program during the 2018-19 school year. The program was designed to help school districts increase meal participation and generate excitement for nutritious milk.

And Hot Chocolate Milk was an instant hit!

By refreshing an old favorite, the program helped pilot schools increase daily breakfast participation by more than 10 percent. ADANE provided school food service directors with equipment and toolkits that included posters, banners, cup stickers, instruction guides and recommended best practices to promote hot chocolate milk. It was served in a 10-ounce hot cup with a lid that enabled students to grab and go.

It’s already well known that when given the option, students prefer to drink flavored milk at school over other beverages. Adding their favorite drink to a classic seasonal beverage is a win-win opportunity for both schools and students. Schools now have the opportunity to generate more interest in meal participation with a new and innovative drink. As for students, chocolate milk provides all of the same great nutritional benefits as white milk, serving as a great source of calcium, protein and potassium, among a handful of other nutrients that all help students power through their day.

When implementing the new Hot Chocolate Milk program, schools can even take it one step further beyond just offering Hot Chocolate Milk as a menu item in the cafeteria. It can also be available a la carte, allowing students to select Hot Chocolate Milk at their convenience using a self-service station. Complete with a toppings bar, students can customize their drinks by adding in flavors like cinnamon, cocoa powder and vanilla powder, just to name a few.

If you’re interested in starting a Hot Chocolate Milk program of your own, our ADANE Youth Programs Specialists would love to assist you! ADANE can work with your school to offer a variety of promotional materials to help attract potential students, drive traffic, and increase the number of students participating in meals at schools.

For more information about the Hot Chocolate Milk program and to contact an ADANE Youth Programs Specialist, email schools@milk4u.org.