The launch of Lewis Road Creamery’s vanilla and coffee flavoured milks hasn’t been met with the same fervour as last year, but that kind of craziness is hard to match - or consciously create.
Within eight weeks of its launch on October 1 last year, sales of the Whittaker chocolate infused milk had ramped up from an initial 1000 litres per week to 31,000 litres.
Security guards were installed on supermarket aisles to ensure nobody took more than one to two bottles, while black market bottles were snapped up for a hefty figure on Trade Me.
Impostor Lewis Road Creamery chocolate milks were even discovered at a dairy.
Lewis Road Creamery founder Peter Cullinane maintains he had no idea that Kiwis were about to become obsessed with his bottles of chocolate milk.
Now the “crack milk” craze has had a year or so to settle, the brand appears to have done a bit of crowdsourcing to get inspiration for its new flavours.
On a survey to become a VIP of Lewis Road Creamery on its Facebook page, customers are asked to list their three favourite milk flavours, as well as the three products they’d like to see the company produce next.
Vanilla and coffee flavours must’ve been hot favourites, as they’re the latest addition to the Lewis Road Creamery family.
The vanilla flavour is a brand collaboration with Heilala Vanilla, a Tauranga-based company that sources its vanilla beans from the South Pacific.
The coffee flavour is a collaboration with Coffee Supreme, a Wellington-based specialty coffee roaster.
Food collaborations are getting to be quite a big deal – Whittaker’s and Griffins have done the 100s and 1000s chocolate, L&P chocolate and Jelly Tip biscuits and chocolate.
Cadbury recently teamed up with Vegemite for an eye-wateringly bad Vegemite flavoured chocolate bar, while Marmite joined forces with Abe’s Bagel Crisps.
Back in the day, Primo milk was repping the trend early with its interesting Pineapple Lumps concoction.
Meanwhile, in the present-day milk market, a competitor is vying for health-conscious milk fans who want to go dairy free.
Little Island Coconut Creamery has both a chocolate and regular flavoured coconut milk, much like its dairy cohort.
Co-founder James Crow says they only found out last minute that they’d be launching the same week as Lewis Road Creamery.
“We started off making our coconut milks fresh, twice a week, back in April and planned to roll out across the country but didn’t know until last week that we would be launching the same week as our dairy cohorts,” Crow says.
The products tap into a growing sector of people choosing to go dairy free due to ethics, milk allergies or niche diets.
In the US, the dairy free sector was worth US$2 billion in 2013.