While all types of milk contain the same nutritional values, they differ in milk fat percentages. Color-coded labels make it easy for consumers to choose their preferred milk.
Whole Milk - Red Labels
Whole milk labels are universally red, making them stand out from the reduced-fat and skim milks. Whole milk contains 8 grams of fat per cup, which equates to about 3.5 percent milk fat.
Reduced Fat Milk - Blue, Yellow, Green Labels
Reduced-fat milk label colors vary by dairy manufacturer, with either a blue, yellow or green label. For example, Kemp's and Dairy Maid dairies both use yellow for their 2% milk, while Clover Organics and Borden use blue. A general guideline is blue or yellow for 2%, and green for 1% milk.
Skim Milk - Purple Labels
Like whole milk, skim milk uses one color to distinguish it from the other types of milk. Most dairies use purple for skim milk labels. Unlike reduced-fat milk, skim milk is fat-free.
Renee Shelton is publisher of the periodical, Pastry Sampler Journal, and is editor and contributing writer to several niche blogs. Her personal webpages have been referenced in numerous cookbooks. When she isn't writing about food, you'll find her hunting down historical cookbooks at swap meets.