LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -The new yearbrings a new name for a staple that has filled grocery store refrigerators in Arkansas for more than a century.
That would be forColeman Dairy, a company rooted in Arkansas since 1862. But starting this week, and specifically here in Central Arkansas, the company's changing its name on the carton to Hiland. It's something that's different on the outside but company officials saythat itwon't be on theinside.
"We're running about 150,000 gallons a day through the plant," Walt Coleman said.
Whether it's by the gallon or half pint, Coleman Dairy hasalways provided milk forArkansas. But starting this year, the companywilldo it witha new name.
"We are now Hiland Dairy and we are producing a product with the Hiland name on it instead of the Coleman name," Coleman said.
Company Comptroller Walt Coleman says Hiland milk hit grocery stores New Year's Day around Little Rock.
The move is part of a brand expansion for Hiland, which is owned by the same company as Coleman and already covers much of the Midwest and Northwest Arkansas.
"We're hoping thateverybody understands that it's the same quality product that hasalways been in the container, it's just got a little different name on it," Coleman said.
Coleman says that the name change won't impact the Little Rock plant.
"For our employees, everything is business as usual," Coleman said.
And it won't stop Coleman's decades of community service.
"All those things thatwe've done in the past, we'll continue to do," Coleman said.
At the store Friday, shoppers like Doris Williams, are still feeling a little sad about the name change.
"That name's been around for a long time, we're going to miss seeing it," Williams said.
But given the products won't change, she'll take the namechange.
"That's the main part, if the quality stays the same, that's good, that's a good thing," Williams said.
Coleman said that Hiland Dairy already operates plants in Fort Smith and Fayetteville and is based in Springfield, Missouri. He says that it's just easier to have a uniform name, especially when it comes to marketing, by growing the brand down our way.
As for the Coleman's previous community sponsorships, the company says it will continue them with programs ranging softball and baseball teams to the Little Rock Marathon but now under the Hiland name.