By Melissa Dunson
Cassie McDaniels is the kind of student the Carl Junction School District had in mind when its officials began reviewing their vending-machine offerings.
“I’m pretty much addicted to pop,” said McDaniels, a freshman at the high school.
She said she understands the importance of cutting down on drinking soft drinks, but sodas remain her preference — as long as she can get them.
Increasingly, soft drinks are going the way of typewriters and slide rules as school districts such as Carl Junction begin to implement new nutritional standards to combat obesity and other health problems in children.
Made in Joplin
That’s where a Joplin company comes in.
Jasper Products was one of the first companies to produce shelf-stable milk and one of only three in the United States approved by the federal government to make what is known as an aseptic product.
Slammers, a flavored-milk product made by Jasper Products, was created by Roy Warren’s company, Bravo! Brands Inc., and is distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
While chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk have been staples of school cafeterias for years, Warren said this milk can be made to taste like popular candies such as 3 Musketeers, Milky Way and Starburst.
Warren hopes to make the world a healthier place by offering Slammers as an alternative to sugary soft drinks.
Milk, a traditionally healthy drink acclaimed as a source of calcium and vitamin D, also has traditionally been on the short list of foods that many children like to avoid. Warren said Slammers are 100 percent low-fat, and they don’t have to be refrigerated before they are opened.
Jasper Products creates the aseptic, shelf-stable product by killing all the bacteria in the milk. The product is packaged in an air-tight, carbon-lined plastic bottle specifically designed by Jasper Products and Bravo! for soft-drink vending machines.
By Melissa Dunson
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