Aseptically packaged, flavored milks in plastic containers are rolling off filling lines, with the marketing muscle of a major soft-drink bottler and the nation’s largest dairy processor leading the charge.
Dallas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. is introducing Raging Cow this month in Texas and the Midwest, with national rollout projected to be complete late next year. Raging Cow is filled at Jasper Products, a copacker in Joplin, Mo. Jasper’s Tetra Pak LFA-20 linear aseptic filler for high density polyethylene bottles was validated for low acid products by the FDA in December.
The aseptic products will provide insight to consumer preferences in packaging and milk processing, as well as the relative marketing acumen of soft drink and dairy companies. Coca-Cola began marketing its version of a dairy-based beverage in August. The chocolate-flavored beverage with skim milk is called Nestle Choglit and is sold in 11 oz. aluminum cans. The granddaddy of the category is another retorted product: Yoo-hoo, a product of Snapple Beverage Group. Coincidentally, both Yoo-hoo and Raging Cow brands are produced by divisions of England’s Cadbury Schweppes plc.
“Consumer research helped us identify young adults as the primary audience for Raging Cow, although anyone who likes milk is likely to embrace this product,” said Dr Pepper/Seven Up’ brand marketer Andrew Springate. Accordingly, the soft-drink manufacturer created “outrageous” flavor combinations, including Pina Colada Chaos, Jamocha Frenzy, Berry Mixed Up, Chocolate Caramel Craze and Chocolate Insanity.
Flat sales characterize the U.S. beverage industry, with two category exceptions: bottled water and flavored milk. Last year, flavored milk enjoyed a 5.5 percent increase in supermarket sales, according to Information Resources Inc., continuing sales-growth gains of recent years.