A dairy checkoff partnership is putting hot chocolate milk into the hands of students during a pilot with a leading school foodservice company. National Dairy Council and Chartwells K12, which serves more than two million meals daily at 700 U.S. school districts, have launched the Hot Chocolate Milk program in 58 schools.
The pilot, which will run through the end of the school year, features chocolate milk – with toppings such as cinnamon and peppermint – served hot during breakfast and lunch. Lisa Hatch, vice president of business development for NDC’s school channel, said the smoothie program’s success led to a “what’s the next big thing?” discussion between the partners. They focused on hot chocolate, a global market valued at $3.8 billion in 2022 and expected to grow to $5.77 billion by 2030.
Schools participating in the pilot program received a Hot Chocolate Milk kit. The kit includes a transport cart with branded panels, an insulated beverage dispenser, a digital thermometer and more.