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Issue Date: Vol. 46, No. 8, August 2006, Posted On: 8/28/2006

Milk Vending Campaign Turns Spotlight On Successful Operator Dairy Initiatives

Tim Sanford

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign is introducing a program that will publicize operator success stories, thus encouraging others to recognize the market potential of milk vending. Called “Spotlight On,” the program invites vendors to share their success stories at a special section of the “got milk” campaign’s business and industry website, milkdelivers.org.

Each month, a panel of industry experts will select one winner from all the entries received during the prior month; the winning entry will become the spotlighted feature for the next four weeks. The winning operator also will receive an Apple “iPod” portable media player.

At the end of the year, one operator’s story will be selected as the centerpiece of the next Milk Mustache “got milk?” celebrity ad in vending trade magazines next year.

The first operator to enter the spotlight is Tom Murn of Answer Vending Co. (Bellerose, NY), who has been active in vending for more than 18 years and is widely known for his effective implementation of new technology. He has been an advocate of milk vending since 1998.

Murn has found that choosing the best products, working closely with customers and educating employees are the keys to developing a successful milk vending program (and many other ventures, too).

He recommends starting out with machines offering a mix of products that includes milk. “Vending two or three flavors of lowfat milk in a machine with bottled water and juice is the best way to work milk into your current vending program,” he advised. Murn has noted an increase in the number of adults drinking flavored milk, and observes that one element that contributes to its appeal is the patrons’ recognition that milk is a healthy alternative to sugary beverages.

Answer Vending also has enjoyed good results from vending milk in schools. “Milk is the ideal beverage for school wellness programs,” Murn said. “Our sales team is armed with literature on the nutritional value of milk, and school administrators appreciate the time we take to explain its merits as one of the healthiest beverages available for kids.” The agreement by soft drink companies to remove all non-diet carbonated beverages from secondary schools should widen the opportunity for milk.

The “Spotlight On” program is open to all vending operators; all that’s necessary to participate is to visit the “Spotlight On” section of www.milkdelivers.org and complete the electronic entry form. The winners will be contacted by Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) executives.

“Milk has been identified as one of the top growth segments in the vending industry,” said Julie Buric, senior director of promotions for the International Dairy Food Association. “Out goal is for ‘Spotlight On’ to focus on the good work that vending professionals have accomplished to help generate this positive momentum. We hope it will become a forum for sharing successes, and for inspiring others to integrate milk into their vended product mix.”

MilkPEP’s milkdelivers.org website offers an array of useful information about milk and milk vending.

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