SALEM, Ohio – Vending machines have cleared the way for farmers to market more fluid milk.
The American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Mid East are testing milk vending machines in schools, factories and businesses in Ohio. ADADC Mid East and Smith Dairy of Orrville, Ohio, have placed glass-front milk vending machines, manufactured by Vendcraft, Cleveland, Ohio, in 20 locations in northeast and central Ohio. Locations include Wooster, Orrville, Triway, New London, Northwestern, Westlake and Wadsworth schools; the staff quarters at Six Flags amusement park; the Raddison hotel at Six Flags; the Cleveland clinic; the Honda Plant in Marysville, Ohio; Buckeye Steel Plant and Ames Distribution Center.
“Smith Dairy’s Moovers have surpassed our expectations. We have increased milk consumption in schools without eroding cafeteria sales,” said June Wedd, director of research and marketing for ADADC Mid East. “It gives the kids an alternative to soft drinks.”
Moovers come in a low fat chocolate, chocolate, vanilla shake, cappuccino and strawberry, the highest selling flavor. The Moovers come in 16-ounce resealable containers, which also means consumers are getting two servings of milk, Wedd said.
The vending machines are placed in the schools’ hallways, which means they are accessible any time the school is open. Several schools have both the vending machine and a small counter-top cooler on their a la carte line in the cafeteria.
“Over the Christmas holiday, our machines still met their quota because the schools were open for special events,” said Wedd.
Each machine was placed with a goal to sell 360 Moovers each week and, according to Wedd, sales results show that goal has been met or exceeded in each case. Some machines may be tested at new locations for the summer if schools are closed.
“According to industry analysts, vending machines account for more than $15 billion a year in cold beverage sales, but milk’s portion has amounted to less than $500,000,” said June Wedd. “Now we’re helping dairy farmers to increase their piece of that pie.”
Carol Yehlik, head cook at Wadsworth High School, says the vending machine did very well in the hallway at her school, however they now use the counter-top cooler.
“The Moovers didn’t seem to have too much of an effect on normal lunchtime milk sales,” said Yehlik. “The kids really seem to enjoy getting the milk, especially in the morning before classes. It’s a nice alternative to the Pepsi machine.”
(Reporter Annie Santoro can be reached at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or firstname.lastname@example.org.)