A bright-yellow poster with a cow on rollerblades did not convince shoppers at the Abreu grocery store to purchase 1% milk. Instead, the gallons of whole milk at the corner store on Sackman and Herkimer in Brownsville had by the afternoon sold out – only to be replaced with more of the red top favorite.
“If you grow up on whole milk and then try something else, it’s not going to taste the same,” said Lydia Soto, a shopper. “I’m used to it.”
Consumers like Soto and others at the Brooklyn bodega have made the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) efforts to fight obesity and diabetes in low-income neighborhoods difficult. The short-term 1% milk initiative by DOHMH, which encouraged bodega owners to carry and distribute information about the low-fat alternative, had been successful said a DOHMH spokesperson. But months later, community residents still preferred whole milk.