If your question is not covered in the following list, please feel free to contact us for direct AE Customer Care.
AE is a family dairy (one of the few left in the U.S.) located on the east side of Des Moines, Iowa. For over 86 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 start with milk that's hours fresh from family farms in Iowa, and 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.
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.
The farmers in Iowa who supply AE Milk give the cows complete freedom. The cows can move, sleep, eat and drink in an open space that’s protected from temperature and humidity extremes.
The cows have comfortable lodging which includes the bovine form of a waterbed. The bed is made of sand which is very clean, and forms to the cow's body shape. The beds are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The cows are fed a nutritious blend of feed which is carefully balanced by a nutritionist (most have Ph.D.’s) who visit the herds regularly. This includes corn silage and alfalfa hay most of which is grown locally by the dairy farmers themselves.
Because the cows receive such good care, their milk has a clean, pure flavor with high levels of nutrition. We believe this makes for happy cows and delicious dairy.
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)*. Every ounce of our milk is tested rigorously before we accept it from the farm, and we don’t accept milk with added hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.This information is also included on our gallon and half gallon cartons.
*No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from r-bST/r-BGH treated and non-r-bST/r-BGH treated cows.
At AE Dairy we do things a little differently. We are family owned for over 86 years, and we go to great lengths to bring you delicious tasting, high quality dairy.
We start with the highest quality raw milk, and we don't accept milk from the farm with added hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.
An important distinction is that we’re under no obligation to accept milk from the family farms in Iowa that supply us. We don't own the farms, but we partner closely with our dairy farmers to ensure they provide high quality milk.
Every load of raw milk received at AE goes through a two-part testing system including a sensory test and complete lab work up in our on-site laboratory (something not all dairies have) .
True to our high standards, we go above and beyond when it comes to the purity and safety of our dairy products. We put our milk to the test in our onsite lab, and this gives us immediate and comprehensive results.
AE Dairy does not accept milk with added hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
We’re often asked this, and we like to share that AE Milk is free from pesticides, antibiotics and synthetic hormones.
Sometimes it’s difficult for our farmers to source good quality fresh, organic feed especially during extreme weather conditions (winter or summer).
Our dairy farmers are very concerned about the comfort and health of the cows and this includes providing them the most nutritious blend of grains and feed as well as time to graze.
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.
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.
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.
The total amount of sugar listed in the Nutrition Facts box on the AE Yogurt carton is not all added. Some of the sugar comes from the milk and fruit naturally, and here's how it breaks down. In AE Lowfat Yogurts, the total amount of sugar is 26 grams with 14 grams from the milk and fruit and 12 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of added sugar. In AE Greek Yogurt, the total amount of sugar is 19-20 grams with 9 grams from the milk and fruit and 10-11 grams of 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.
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.
The following AE Dairy products are gluten free:
- Cottage Cheese*
- Egg Nog (including Milk Nog)
- Flavored Milk
- Greek Yogurt and Yogurt
- Half & Half
- Ice Cream Mix
- Orange Juice
- Sour Cream
- Whipping Cream
AE Dips are NOT gluten free because the custom-blended spices are made in a facility where baked goods are prepared.
*Mr. E's Garden Vegetable Cottage Cheese cannot be considered gluten free because the dehydrated vegetable blend is prepared in a facility where some other products containing gluten are made.
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.
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 and half gallon blow mold machines
- bundling cardboard packaging for recycling, and
- identifying through the DNR additional ways to conserve and reuse water in our facility
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.
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.
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.
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.