Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk - the "perfect marriage" of Lewis Road Creamery whole milk and Whittakers 5 Roll Refined Milk Chocolate - has taken New Zealand by storm since its launch in early October.
Consumers have been pictured queuing to get their hands on 750ml and 300ml bottles of the chocolate milk, which retail respectively at NZ$6.49 (US$5.10, €4.00) and NZ$3.69 (US$2.90, €2.30).
In response, some stores have reportedly implemented a two bottle per customer limit. Others have, according to reports, employed security guards to monitor shelves of the sought after flavored milk.
“We were hoping that by combining New Zealand’s best milk and New Zealand’s favorite chocolate together in a bottle we’d hit a winning formula and as soon as we tasted the first batch from our trial runs we knew it was good,” a spokesperson for Lewis Road Creamery told DairyReporter.com.
“But the way it has been received by Kiwis has been beyond our expectations – it’s great, we are now just working double time to try to fulfill demand.”
Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk is manufactured under contract by Papakura-based Green Valley Dairies using a "simple process."
Whittakers 5 Roll Refined Milk Chocolate is simply added to Lewis Road Creamery whole milk. The mix is then warmed until the chocolate melts through, then bottled.
When it launched earlier this month, just 1,000 litres of Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk was produced weekly.
At that point, Lewis Road Creamery was worried it may not be able to shift the bottles.
“Little did we know!” the spokesperson said.
“The unprecedented demand for our Fresh Chocolate Milk meant that we started producing six days a week, making 20,000 litres per week. Yet this still wasn't enough to satisfy demand and so fortunately we have been able to increase production further to 40,000 litres per week.”
But there is still some way to go to bridge the gap, the spokesperson said.
“We are a relatively new and small dairy producer, with just five staff, and are still finding our feet.”
“At the moment we are working around the clock to produce as much chocolate milk as we can. We also hope we will be able to source additional equipment to increase supply but it takes time and we won’t do anything that compromises the quality of our product.”
Despite its infancy, even reports of counterfeit Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Fresh Milk being sold in stores have emerged.
A picture (right) appeared online last week of chocolate milk in a 750ml Lewis Road Creamery organic milk bottle with a silver lid.
Commenting on the reports, the company welcomed efforts by consumers to make their own at home, but warned that counterfeit versions could present "a potential health risk to consumers."
“We encourage people to always look for the distinctive bottle with the gold tamper proof lid and Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk branding on the bottle.”
“We also want people to report any incidences of the sale of counterfeit products to us," the spokesperson added.