Fans of a new "artisan" chocolate milk have been waiting at supermarkets around the North Island to snap it up within minutes of its delivery from a northern Waikato farm.
Some who missed out were last night bidding on Trade Me for single 750ml bottles of Lewis Road Creamery's milk for up to $20.
Demand for the product - a blend of full cream milk from Mangatawhiri-based Green Valley Dairies and Whittaker's chocolate - has exceeded demand expectations 30 times over since being launched a fortnight ago.
"It's just exploded," said Lewis Road founder Peter Cullinane, a former global chief operating officer for advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi.
The company is having to ration its distribution to supermarkets such as New World Metro in Auckland's Queen St, where manager Jatin Kakkar said two batches of supplies this week flew out of his cooler within five minutes each time.
"We have people waiting for it to arrive and a notice limiting customers to one bottle each," he said.
That is despite a price of $6.99 for a 750ml bottle, and $4.99 for 300ml.
Only Fonterra's Primo and Anchor brands of chocolate milk were left in his store last night, priced at $6.89 for two litres, but Mr Kakkar is braced for a fresh delivery of 50 bottles of Lewis Road product at 11am today.
Mr Cullinane said the company had to wait until each morning to post the day's list of supply outlets, because it was difficult to predict how much milk would be available from overnight production.