Reviving the Milkman

Crestwood Farms, a food distributor in Bellport, New York, has brought back the milkman; currently, there are 10 serving about 4,200 homes each week. The company's total operation (including home and commercial sales) sells about 4 million gallons of milk-whole, heavy creams, half and half and other products yearly.

Part of the reason that Crestwood has been able to maintain its home-delivery service is due to growing their commercial sales to chain supermarkets and convenience stores, which account for 90 percent of more than $5 million in revenue-and by expanding beyond just milk (due to ever-evolving and changing customer tastes, there's also a growing demand for alternatives like soy, almond and coconut milk. And Crestwood sells more than 800 (!) food and beverage products, including eggs, juices, butter, water and even prepared deli sandwiches).

"Every time I speak to someone, the No. 1 thing they say is, 'I can't believe they still do that,' " said Michael Wieczorek, company president. In 1963, 29.7 percent of milk sold in the U.S. was by home delivery. By 2005, there were only 0.4 customers receiving this service, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Crestwood plans to put greater focus on its home-delivery, including relaunching their website and developing a mobile app, thus giving their customers-and potential ones-more options to order.

Home-delivery seems to be catching on again, as more people-and other companies-are warming up to the idea; Peapod and FreshDirect are two online sites also offering grocery-delivery services, as well as several supermarkets. This trend is partly due to tech-savvy millennials who are starting their own families and households, according to an April survey by Nielson Holdings, a New York information and measurement company (with more than 30,000 people in 60 countries!).

Additional Info

Do you have lactose intolerance, but still love creamy concoctions? Try the new Blueberry Banana Almond Milk; it's a smoothie from Bolthouse Farms. It's tasty (slightly sweet) and low-fat, with only 110 calories and 2g fat per serving; available at most stores and retailers.

Sources: "Company keeps milkman tradition alive"-Newsday (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, August 9, 2015 and "Smart Sips"-Spry Living, July 2015



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