FoodDaily Dish

L.A. company makes cereal milk in a carton -- without the cereal

Slurping the leftover bowl of colored, sweet milk after you finish a morning, or midnight, bowl of cereal is one of life's simple pleasures. This may be the sole reason rainbow cereals exist. But a new company is taking the concept of that cereal-sweetened milk and removing cereal from the equation.

Cow Wow Cereal Milk is a new milk product that's meant to taste like cereal milk, without any actual cereal. According to the L.A.-based company's website, the organic milk is made with natural flavors, 1% milk, cane sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

The packages appear to be aimed toward children, with images of ecstatic-looking cows holding giant bowls of rainbow and chocolate cereal. But that sentiment won't be shared by everyone. Some Los Angeles public schools have banned flavored milks. And a new milk product with 20 or more grams of sugar is likely to cause alarm among those attempting to curb childhood obesity.

Cereal milk has been popular since Christina Tosi at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC (part of David Chang's Momofuku restaurant group) started making the stuff in 2008, by soaking cereal in milk, then straining the liquid. Tasty Foods, a manufacturer in Singapore, also makes canned cereal milk, sold at some Asian markets. 

Cow Wow president and founder Chris Pouy said he got the idea from his grandmother, who used to wake up early to soak his cereal in milk, then strain it, as a way to get Pouy to drink his milk. 

"Originally we called it moo juice, but the FDA said we can't do that because there's no juice in it," Pouy said. "So we went with Cow Wow because every time someone tried it for the first time they paused, looked at me and said, 'Wow.'"

The milk comes in two flavors, including Fruity Trudy and Chocolate Chip Cathy, and sells at select retailers in California for $1.99.  

[Update, 8:32 a.m., Oct. 3: This post has been updated to include that Christina Tosi was the one who created the Momofuku Milk Bar cereal milk product.]

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