Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not covered in the following list, please feel free to contact us for direct AE Customer Care.
Why choose AE Dairy products?
AE is a family dairy (one of the few left in the U.S.) located on the east side of Des Moines, Iowa. For 83 years we’ve been committed to making dairy that you love. We say that "we know what families want because we are a family." This means we don’t skimp when it comes to ingredients and methods to create our products. We use European cocoas, gourmet quality vanillas, premium fruit, and custom blended spices. AE products are created in small batches, flavor by flavor, and we use time tested recipes and techniques.
We constantly check the quality and consistency of the products we make at our weekly Taste Test. A team of people, including Erickson family members, and those who make, promote, sell and distribute AE products sample and judge the texture, taste, and aroma of each product made. We also pay close attention to customer requests and the latest trends to come up with new creations.
Where do you get your milk?
Our milk comes fresh from family farms in Iowa. In less than 24 hours, the raw milk is changed into your favorite AE product and is on its way to the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store. This includes milk, cottage cheese, dips, sour cream, yogurt, and ice cream mix.
Do your milks contain growth hormones? I can’t find this on the packaging.
The dairy herds that supply AE Milk are not treated with synthetic growth hormones also known as r-BST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) or r-BGH (recombinant growth hormone). Since 2008, we’ve offered milk without added hormones due to customers’ requests. This information is not found on the carton labels currently due to pending legislation in several states.
*No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from r-bST/r-BGH treated and non-r-bST/r-BGH treated cows.
How can I trust your milk is pure?
Before a tanker truck of raw milk is even accepted at AE, it is put to the test by our trained experts who perform sensory testing including odor, temperature, and taste tests. They also conduct additional testing in the laboratory to make sure it’s pure. If the milk passes the initial testing, it is pasteurized to prevent disease and bacteria. We continue to test our milk after it’s packaged in our state-of-the-art onsite laboratory with up to 25 tests in all right through the freshness date stamped on the carton. AE Milks do not contain pesticides, added hormones or antibiotics.
Will you consider offering organic milk?
We don’t’ have any plans currently to offer organic milk. As a premium brand with a commitment to the highest quality, if you looked at AE Milk and organic milk under the microscope, you wouldn’t see any differences.
What do the dates on the package mean, and how long can I continue to use AE products after this date?
The date stamped on the carton is known as the “sell by” date which indicates how long the store has to sell the product. If a product has been stored at 36 degrees or under, it should remain good for another 7 days after the “sell by” date stamped on the container.
How can I make sure my AE Milk stays fresh until we’ve finished it?
The key is to keep your milk cold, and here are a few suggestions on how to do this.
- Refrigerate your milk as soon as possible after purchase. For every degree above 40 that milk is exposed (including your travel time from the grocery store to your home), it loses a day of freshness.
- As soon as you are finished serving or using the milk, return it to your refrigerator instead of leaving your milk on the breakfast or dinner table throughout the meal.
- Check that your refrigerator temperature is set between 34 and 36 degrees.
- Store your milk in the interior area of the refrigerator instead of in the door where the temperature fluctuates because of frequent opening.
My kids prefer chocolate milk over regular milk, but I'm concerned about all the sugar.
The amount of added sugar in AE Chocolate Milk is a small trade off for this powerful package of nutrition when you consider it provides 9 essential nutrients. Half of the sugar in chocolate milk is found naturally in all milk (12 grams per 8 oz. serving), and, the total amount of sugar is still 50% less than the amount contained in soft drinks or other sweetened beverages. In fact, chocolate milk contributes only 2% to the overall amount of all sugars in the diets of children ages 2-18.
The good news is that kids who drink flavored milk take in more milk and calcium without increasing their intake of total fat and calories. In addition, they do not have a higher body mass index compared to kids who do not drink flavored milk.
I like the taste of AE Yogurt, but I’m concerned about all the sugar.
The total amount of sugar listed in the Nutrition Facts box on the AE Yogurt carton is not all added. About one third of the sugar comes from the milk naturally with the rest divided between the fruit and some added sugar.
We think it’s important to consider all of the nutrients in foods and beverages. The good news is that AE Yogurt contains five essential nutrients including calcium, potassium and vitamin D – three of the four most often missing in Americans’ diets according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. At 200 calories or less per carton, AE Yogurt is a satisfying and economical source of high quality protein – as much as one large egg.
Do AE Milks and Yogurts contain artificial colors?
All AE products are made with the most natural ingredients, and we use fruit and vegetable juice for color rather than add artificial numbered color dyes.
Do AE products contain gluten?
The following AE Dairy products are gluten free:
• Flavored milk
• Orange juice
• Cottage Cheese
• Sour Cream
• Egg Nog (including MilkNog)
• Half & Half
• Whipping Cream
AE Dips are NOT gluten free because the custom-blended spices are made in a facility where baked goods are prepared.
Do AE products contain high fructose corn syrup?
AE Chocolate Milks have never contained high fructose corn syrup and you won’t find this ingredient in AE Greek or Lowfat yogurts. The only exception is AE Regular Lemonade, and we offer a Reduced Sugar variety as an option for those who want to avoid high fructose corn syrup in their diet.
Are the cows that supply your milk happy? What can you tell me?
We don't actually own the dairy cow herds that supply our milk, but we visit the family farms in Iowa regularly. Because these dairy farmers use industry best practices, the cows appear very content. They're not only fed a mixture of grains such as oats, soy and corn which provides great nutrition, but they also graze and eat grass (of course, they don't allow this in extreme temperatures because that impacts the quality of the milk.) The farms that supply our milk do not treat the cows with artificial growth hormones.
Is AE a green company?
We are taking steps to use the earth’s resources wisely, and some of the most noticeable include:
- fueling our fleet of 400 vehicles with a biodiesel blend,
- washing the fleet and our milk crates with recovered wash water,
- making new milk cases from reground plastic
- recycling plastic used in our gallon blow mold machine, and
- bundling cardboard packaging for recycling
Do you donate products to special events?
We donate juice, milk, and yogurt to numerous community events in Iowa and the Kansas City area, including walks and runs, health fairs, and church events. To request a product donation, please submit your request via email to www.aedairy.com/contact-us at least three weeks prior to the event date and include the following information in your message:
• Name, date and location of the event
• An estimate of the number of attendees or participants
• Other vendor or sponsorship partners
• Other foods or beverages offered at the event
• Facilities on site for keeping the product cold
• A specific product and quantity request
Our donations committee will review your request at the next regularly scheduled meeting and respond to you. Thanks.
How can I contact the dairy?
We encourage our customers to let us know how we’re doing. You can send an email using our contact form, or call our customer care hot line at 515-265-2521 extension 2300. If a product you purchased isn’t everything you hoped it would be, we want to know. We will arrange pick up of the item so that we can investigate it with the help of our lab, and we will replace the item.
Does AE offer coupons?
We do not have a standard coupon program currently. AE Dairy products are frequently featured in grocers’ sale flyers and we regularly sample products in area stores so that you can "try before you buy".
Many AE products are budget stretchers such as milk and yogurt when you consider that they provide essential nutrients including high quality protein along with calcium, vitamin D and potassium – three nutrients that frequently fall short in Americans’ diets today.
Where can I find AE Yellow Milk Cases?
Actually, our milk cases sometimes go missing when people borrow them, and they cost “moola” to replace. This expense affects the cost of milk. If you have “borrowed” an AE yellow milk case, or know of someone who has, we ask that you return it to AE or your local grocery store.