Getting students to drink milk can often be a challenge, especially at the high school level. June is National Dairy Month, so it is the perfect time to implement creative strategies to increase milk sales.
A rising trend among high schools is coffee carts. On-campus coffee carts help increase milk sales and overall breakfast participation with older age groups. Instead of making a stop for coffee and breakfast items at Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks before school, students can choose a healthier and less expensive option on campus and pay using their meal account balance.
Right outside of Cleveland, OH, the Mayfield High School Student Council led an initiative to bring “Cat’s Coffee Bar” to campus. With the help of the Mayfield City Schools Food Service Department, the school received a $5,000 grant from the American Dairy Association.
Mayfield students can choose from four 12-ounce coffee choices for $2.00 or $1.00 with a breakfast purchase. Soy milk and seasonal flavors are also available. All items sold at these coffee bars meet USDA school meal and Smart Snack guidelines, which regulate the amount of milk, sugar, and espresso allowed as well as beverage sizes.
Cat’s Coffee Bar opened at the end of January 2017. In just four months, the cart served 229 gallons more milk than the same time period the previous year. Also in that time period, they increased breakfast sales by 1,554 from the previous year—that’s 14 more breakfasts per day!
The benefits of coffee carts go beyond sales. Like Mayfield, many coffee carts are run by the student council or business classes and clubs.
At Fairmont High in Kettering, OH, the Marketing Club students operate the coffee bar in exchange for a stipend to their marketing fund. They even involved the Digital Design students who created the logo for their Korner Café.
Whether you’re starting your own coffee stand or another grab-and-go breakfast program, the biggest lesson we can learn from Mayfield and Fairmont is that involving students in creative nutrition programs can yield amazing results.
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