Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dairy Gods

Some days you don't go looking for the blog post, it comes to you. No, it's not cheese, but Promised Land Dairy makes the best chocolate milk EVER and I fully support any connection they claim to have to the Almighty because such incredible milk must have a divine source. For instance, one day when checking out the grocery store clerk saw my bottle and we were talking about how awesome the Midnight Chocolate Milk is when the manager leaned in to say, "We didn't get the normal shipment of it last Tuesday. There were some *very* upset customers!" To which I actually responded, with a tone of some relief, "Well, thank God it's here now!" Since when does chocolate milk incite that kind of cultist passion?

But this week I reached into the grocery refrigerator to find that the day I both hoped and feared had come. Promised Land chocolate milk was in a plastic bottle. In some ways it was something to hope for. When you lug around a giant glass bottle you live in fear of dropping it. And I'd already ended up with a huge stockpile of old bottles because it seems a crime to throw such lovely dairy bottles away. They serve as nice vases for handfuls of wildflowers or to display beach glass in the window. But with over 20 of them piled in the back of the cabinet my husband had already said enough was enough.

On the other hand, there is the adjustment issue. It just doesn't TASTE as good in plastic as it does in glass. There is also a different "feel" to the bottle. If this were the first bottle of Promised Land chocolate milk I'd had I tend to doubt that I would've been as avid a fan.And last but not least, if my research back in college still holds true, there are only two things that are 100% recyclable - metal and glass. We recycle a lot of plastic but unless things have changed there is waste in the process.

So I'll go back to contemplating the divine in a bottle of chocolate milk, be it glass or plastic, and leave you to decide whether you're going to try to track down the One True Chocolate Milk in your own town.

2/15/2010 Update:
Within two hours of posting this we got a Google search hit on the topic so I emailed the Promised Land Dairy to ask if they had a press release or a statement about the change to plastic bottles that they would like to share. They sent me a copy the following letter in less than one business day. You have to love these people. And their explanation is a pretty reasonable one.

January 15, 2010 

To Our Valued Customers:

Beginning this month, we will be converting to a new custom made PET quart bottle that will have the same high quality visual impact, rigidity, and recycling ability as out current single serve and half gallon PET bottles, which are of course BPA free.  And perhaps most importantly, they will help continue to keep the same flavor and freshness you have come to expect with Promised Land products.

We are taking this step for a number of reasons.  As the cost of glass continues to rise due to petroleum and raw material increases, we must look at alternative means of keeping our pricing in line so our outstanding products can continue to be available at a reasonable price in today’s competitive market.  Secondly, the decrease in the weight of our new quarts will be another step we are taking toward reducing fuel consumption in shipping and thus greater packaging sustainability, which is a goal of many environmentally concerned vendors today.  For our long-term development as a company, it will also allow us to carry our healthy and all natural products through an extensive US distribution network now available to us as a part of the National Dairy family.

We are making a substantial investment in order to create the custom molds to produce this new quart bottle.  We believe however, in the long run, it will provide a return to our customers and our environment in many ways, as well as help to expand our unique all Jersey cow milk and outstanding line of flavors to a growing number of customers seeking healthy all natural milk.

Thank you for your support as customers of All Natural Promised Land Dairy.

G.K. [full name removed by TTGSiMH to protect privacy]
General Sales Manager