Students try new flavored milk product now sold at AHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2003

Got "vanana"-flavored milk? How about "blooo?"

Austin High School does. Midwest Coca-Cola is now selling a flavored milk drink in a vending machine at the high school.

U. S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht and representatives from Midwest Coca-Cola and AHS promoted the new product Friday at a press conference with about 50 students. The officials hope the product will encourage students to drink milk more often.

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"Austin High School is proud to offer our students an extensive selection of beverage choices during their school day," said AHS Principal Joe Brown. "By providing these milk drinks, we help our students meet recommended daily allowances and promote long-term health."

Midwest Coca-Cola has placed a vending machine in Austin High School to test the product, which has been produced for about a month. Students can choose from chocolate, vanana -- a combination of vanilla and banana-- and blooo, a strawberry/blueberry mix. The drinks come in aluminum cans, like soda pop.

Kevin Morris, vice president of public affairs for Midwest Coca-Cola, said a recent study showed that the sales of milk increased 22 percent in secondary schools and 15 percent in elementary schools after changes were made in flavor, packaging and merchandising of milk products.

"There's a growing interest in flavored-milk products," Morris said.

But how does it taste?

Gutknecht said "It's good" as he drank the vanana-flavored milk and encouraged those around him to try it. He said the drink is healthy and will help southeast Minnesota dairy farmers.

Kasey Langstaff, an AHS 10th-grader, said she liked the chocolate flavor over the others.

"The blue kind had a weird after taste," she said.

Maria Brooks, also a 10th-grader, said she rarely drinks milk but would drink the flavored milk drinks.

"I thought it was pretty good," she said.

Nearly 170 vending machines for the product are located in elementary and secondary schools and colleges throughout the state, Morris said. For now, it is only sold at schools.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at