Last year, the Board exited a licensing deal with Bridge Brands for got milk? branded chocolate products and launched legal action against Bridge for alleged illegal sublicensing to Melville Candy.
The California Milk Processor Board has since signed its own licensing deal with Melville Candy, Diversified Flavor and Got Snacks? to produce snack items.
Melville Candy is licensed for hot chocolate spoons, Diversified Flavor is licensed for flavor straws and infusers, and Got Snacks? is licensed for the snack items including wafers, cookies and cereal bars.
It marks the first time the got milk? brand has formally appeared on food packaging, despite previous promotional partnerships with brands such as Oreo.
Upping milk consumption
W, Stephen James, executive director of the California Milk Processor Board, told ConfectioneryNews at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago: "All of these items, if they're successful will increase the consumption of fluid milk. The only reason the California Milk Processor Board is in existence is to try to increase the consumption of fluid milk, so these are natural accompaniments to milk."
Got Snacks portfolio
The Board has named Beanstalk as its exclusive licensing agency and they have appointed a New York-based licensee Got Snacks?, which is responsible for developing packaged cereal, snack, granola and granola bar items using the got milk? trademark.
Massachusetts-based Melville Candy will produce goods such as wooden, chocolate-coated spoons, which already launched in Walmart last year. They can be dipped in a glass of milk to add flavor.
Other got milk? snack items include chocolate chip cookies packaged in a milk carton.
"It's in that iconic gable-top milk package so immediately when you see it on the shelf it reminds you of milk and we think it's a really good marriage,” said James.
Non-GMO and natural options
The got milk? snacks range also includes items that are all-natural, organic as well as GMO or gluten free.
“We're giving the consumer the tools to make their own decisions. You can't tell someone what they should be concerned about,” said James.
Some of the confectionery items are already on U.S, store shelves in the North East with Shoprite, Sam's Club and Walmart, but the Board is aiming for nationwide distribution this year.
The company has already started to export to the Caribbean and claims it has interested parties in Central America, China and Japan.
Oreo partnership can coexist with licensed cookies
James said the licensed got milk? products will not affect promotional partnerships with big manufacturers like Mondelēz.
"I think it's going to make it even more valuable or enticing. We're talking to Oreo right now about partnering on something in the Fall, a special Oreo cookie."
The California Milk Processor Board previously partnered for a limited edition got milk? Oreo cookies that had the got milk? logo embossed on each cookie rather than the Nabisco logo.
"We will continue to partner with food companies that make sense to us,” said James.