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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Aug;96(8):4843-56. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-6399. Epub 2013 May 22.

Influence of packaging information on consumer liking of chocolate milk.

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Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


Chocolate milk varies widely in flavor, color, and viscosity, and liking is influenced by these properties. Additionally, package labels (declared fat content) and brand are some of the extrinsic factors that may influence consumer perception. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of packaging labels and brand name on consumer liking and purchase intent of chocolate milk. A consumer acceptance test, conjoint analysis survey, and Kano analysis were conducted. One hundred eight consumers evaluated 7 chocolate milks with and without brand or package information in a 2-d crossover design. A conjoint analysis survey and Kano analysis were conducted after the consumer acceptance test. Results were evaluated by 2-way ANOVA and multivariate analyses. Declared fat content and brand influenced overall liking and purchase intent for chocolate milks to differing degrees. A subsequent conjoint analysis (n=250) revealed that fat content was a driver of choice for purchasing chocolate milk followed by sugar content and brand. Brand name was less important for purchase intent of chocolate milk than fat or sugar content. Among fat content of chocolate milk, 2 and 1% fat level were most appealing to consumers, and reduced sugar and regular sugar were equally important for purchase intent. Kano analysis confirmed that fat content (whole milk, 1, or 2% fat chocolate milk) was an attractive attribute for consumer satisfaction, more so than brand. Organic labeling did not affect the purchase decision of chocolate milk; however, Kano results revealed that having an organic label on a package positively influenced consumer satisfaction. Findings from this study can help chocolate milk producers as well as food marketers better target their product labels with attributes that drive consumer choice of chocolate milk.


chocolate milk; consumer preference; flavor

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