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Farmer Markets Mighty Milk
One Minnesota dairyman is putting his money where his mouth is. He's introducing flavored lowfat milk, spending his own money to help produce and promote it.
Conrad Kvamme, Little Falls, Minn., got the idea for Mighty Milk back in 1978. Next came the market research. He interviewed about 1,000 consumers in 8 states to get an idea of their milk-buying habits. He stationed himself near vending machines in service stations, supermarkets and factories. People said they'd buy more milk, if it was readily available. They'd buy flavored milk, too, if there were more flavors besides chocolate.
That's all Kvamme needed to hear. After consulting nutritionists across the country, he contacted Denny Larson, owner of Sauk Rapids Dairy in nearby Sauk Rapids, Minn. Together they produced and perfected Mighty Milk. Five flavors now available in central Minnesota are choc-o-nut, caramel apple, root beer, wild strawberry and banana-pineapple. They're working on six additional flavors, including lemon-honey and grapefruit, and will probably add two to their product line.
"The response to Mighty Milk has been just phenomenal," says Kvamme, "The milk doesn't drop out of suspension, it has good mouth feel, it's not thick, and it's refreshing to drink it alone." It has 1% fat and is fortified with solids. Currently only half-gallon sizes are available, but Kvamme and Larson soon hope to be packaging 10-oz. cartons for vending machines, as soon as distributors are found. "We want to put it where people don't have the opportunity now to buy milk," says Kvamme. Several distributors, some from as far away as Pennsylvania and California, have expressed an interest in the venture. The Minnesota team plans to franchise the patented name and formula to processors.
Kvamme is now ready for investors' money. "I wanted to see if it would go. That's why I went with my own money at first," he says. "I'm confident it will go now. I have enough strategy planned that I think I'll get my money back." He's invested about $50,000 in the project.
"I want to get farmers excited. I want them to know that we're doing this for the American dairyman. We've just touched the potential for milk, with new products, education and promotion, I think dairymen have missed the boat in marketing milk. We'd better remember that consumers are the ultimate we have to produce the alternatives they want. And it's not only the products, but also how you word the promotions," he says.
Kvamme, known as a dairy promoter and idea man, believes consumers will buy Mighty Milk in addition to their regular milk. "It's an alternative, not a substitution," he says. It should attract people who haven't been milk drinkers, and compete with soft drinks.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Conrad Kvamme, Orbit Farms, Rt. 2, Hwy. 27W, Little Falls, Minn. 56345 (ph 612 632-3535).
(Reprinted with permission from Dairy Herd Management, P.O. Box 67, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440.)

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #5