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Flavoured Milk Essay Example

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    Chapter 01: Introduction



    This research is to be carried out for Norfolk Foods, who have produced a new powdered formulation for dieters and weight watchers, which was added to milk to produce a nutritious, tasty, hunger-relieving drink that is low in calories. The formulation is already in the market in chocolate and banana flavours, and this newly reformulated chocolate flavour would replace the original chocolate flavour if the market research was favourable.

    Emerging research suggests that three servings of milk and dairy products each day, as part of a reduced calorie weight loss plan, can help adults lose more weight by burning more fat than just cutting calories alone. Observational research has found that dairy may play a role in promoting a healthy weight or preventing unhealthy weight gain among children and adolescents.

    Flavoured 100 percent milk does contain some added sugar (Dairy Field 2006). However, most of the carbohydrate (sugar) listed on the nutrient label is lactose, the natural sugar found in milk. Flavoured milk contains an equivalent of two to four teaspoons of added sugar, or an additional 30 to 60 calories, per serving (Dairy Field 2006). In comparison, regular sodas contain up to eight teaspoons of added sugar per serving. Fruit drinks, perceived by many to be “healthy,” contain an equivalent of six to nine teaspoons of sugar per serving.

    Objectives of Study

    1) To explore what comes in consumers mind regarding flavoured milk category

    2) To identify which attribute of the flavoured milk category is of utmost concern for the consumers out of price, quality & service

    3) To explore how much the consumers relate consumption of flavoured milk with their concepts of healthy living

    4) To explore consumer experiences of acquiring and using flavoured milk

    5) To gain insight as to what extent does the company’s image/brand name influences consumer selection of flavoured milk


    Problem Statement

    “To understand consumers’ preferences when they are purchasing flavoured milk which attribute out of price, quality and service is of prime concern in their buying decision making”


    Research Questions

    1) How do potential and current consumers perceive the purchasing of flavoured milk?

    2) Which factors are considered by the consumers in their decision making to buy flavoured milk?

    3) To what extent does advertising influences consumer selection of flavoured milk?


    Overview of Study

    Initially this paper introduces the concept of the formulation of flavoured milk as a beverage for health conscious individuals. In the second chapter the related studies done in this are have been explored along with researchers own Experiential Knowledge to form a proper Conceptual Context. Finally the research methodology has been mentioned along with the target population of study and the validity threats and limitations.
    Chapter 02: Literature Review


    Flavoured milk, which is appealing to children and teens, contains as much calcium as regular milk and is a great way to help them meet the recommended three to four calcium servings daily (Dairy Field 2006). One serving of flavoured or unflavoured 100 percent milk provides about 300 milligrams of calcium, or approximately one-third of a child’s recommended daily calcium intake and one-quarter of an adolescent’s recommended intake (Dairy Field 2006). Vitamin D is generally fortified in flavoured milk at the same level as it is in unflavoured milk and milk is one of the most common food sources. Adequate amounts of vitamin D are critical for calcium absorption and maintaining strong bones. In light of recent reports of increased fractures in adolescents and resurgence in cases of rickets among young children caused by vitamin D deficiency ensuring an adequate intake of vitamin D is very important (Dairy Field 2006).

    Retail flavoured milk, which includes eggnog and buttermilk, was a $645 million business in 2000 according to Information Resources Inc (Beverage Industry 2003). For the 24 weeks ending June 17, 2001, dollar sales were up 11% as compared to the same period in 2000. After private label, the No. 1 and No. 2 brands are NesQuik from Nestle USA Inc., Glendale, Calif., with 16.6% dollar share during this time period, and Milk Chugs from Dean Foods Co., Rosemont, Ill., with 6.1% share. The leading flavour is chocolate, which accounts for about 95% of all flavoured milk sales (Beverage Industry 2003).

    According to NACS’ 2005 State of the Industry report, the big mover in 2004 in the fluid milk products category was flavoured milk (National Petroleum News 2006). And is that really much of a surprise with such seemingly disparate flavoured products from vodka to smokeless tobacco raising the ante in the ongoing battle for a retailer’s prime shelf space (National Petroleum News 2006)?

    The NACS numbers tell the story as flavoured milk accounted for 27.72 percent of fluid milk sales in the nation’s c-stores in 2004, a nearly 50-percent increase over its 2003 percentage of 18.46 percent (National Petroleum News 2006). That leap moved it to second in the list of fluid milk subcategories, ahead of 2% milk (25.77 percent in 2004) and trailing only whole milk (33.53 percent in 2004). Whole milk and 2% milk also saw gains on the 2003 percentages in the fluid milk category, but obviously not on the par of flavoured milk. In terms of industry total sales, whole milk breached the $1 billion plateau in 2004 with over $1.1 billion in sales, compared to $975 million in 2003 (National Petroleum News 2006). Flavoured milk made a run at the $1 billion barrier, finishing 2004 with $916 million in sales after totaling $564 million in 2003. In average store sales, flavoured milk climbed 54 percent to an average of $6,624 per site from $4,286 in 2003. Whole milk’s industry-wide sales went up to $851 million in 2004 as compared to $766 million the previous year (National Petroleum News 2006).

    Currently chocolate milk manufacturers use one or more cocoa powder ingredients and sweetener to flavour milk. Cocoa powder can be natural or alkalized (Dutch process), which influences flavour, color and solubility. Cocoa powder also comes in various fat contents. Years ago, manufacturers typically used higher fat cocoa powders in chocolate milk because it was believed to produce a better-tasting product. However, improved pressing and extracting technologies have resulted in high-quality, flavourful lower fat cocoa powders (Beverage Industry 2003).

    Cocoa powders are often used in conjunction with chocolate flavourings to make the milk taste more like chocolate than cocoa (Beverage Industry 2003). Some manufacturers will even add a small amount of full-fat chocolate along with the cocoa, but the amount that can be added is limited due to technical issues.

    Dairies are promoting the fact that ounce-for-ounce, chocolate milk contains less sugar and more nutrients than other drinks. Laura Nathanson, a physician and author of “The Portable Pediatrician’s Guide to Kids,” says, “As a pediatrician and mom, I’m concerned kids are drinking more and more nutrient-empty beverages like soda and juice drinks, and as a result, they’re not getting the calcium they need at a crucial bone-building age. But milk and chocolate milk are great sources of nutrients–particularly calcium. Kids already think chocolate milk is fun to drink and tastes great, so it may be a parent’s ‘secret weapon’ to getting more milk in their child’s diet.”

    Some dairies even make chocolate milk more nutritious through the addition of ingredients or removal of water, which concentrates the inherent nutrients. Upstate Farms does the latter with its Milk for Life (Beverage Industry 2003). Every 8-oz serving contains 67% more calcium and 25% more protein than regular chocolate milk. Hershey’s flavoured milks are fortified to provide 67% more calcium than regular milk.

    According to government recommendations, children ages four-eight need 800 milligrams of calcium a day, or the equivalent of about three glasses of milk, while those nine-18 require 1,300 milligrams of calcium, or the equivalent of about four glasses of milk (USA Today Magazine 2002).

    It’s not just choosing the right cocoa. Stabilizer selection is important too. When chocolate milk only came in gabletop cartons, stabilization was not very important because consumers could not see the cocoa powder settling out of suspension. However, today’s consumers do not want to see cocoa particles at the bottom of the bottle. Carrageenan is the most common stabilizer in chocolate milk.

    When it comes to extended shelf-life chocolate milk, which uses ultra-high temperature pasteurization, there is little room for error with ingredient selection. Different cocoa powders react to the high heat, as do some stabilizers. Over-stabilization can result in clumpy milk.

    Recently a new ingredient has become available for formulating chocolate milk. It’s reduced-fat chocolate powder. Chocolate powders are made from full-fat, conched milk and plain chocolate from which some or virtually all of the fat is removed. The conching process removes the acid from chocolate liquor and improves chocolate flavour development. Chocolate powder reaps the benefits of the conching process (Beverage Industry 2003). Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is not conched. Chocolate powder is described as having authentic chocolate taste and aroma, which makes chocolate milk more chocolaty.

    According to research from the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), flavoured milk was responsible for about 3% of all retail milk sales in 2000. It’s what’s driving milk sales.

    The single-serve bottle, along with extended shelf-life technologies, encourages processors to experiment with new flavours (Beverage Industry 2003). Processors believe consumers are willing to try a unique flavour when they only have to buy a pint for about a dollar, rather than a half-gallon for $2.50. The extended shelf-life appeals to retailers who do not want to worry about product expiring faster than it turns around.

    Chocolate may dominate the flavoured milk business, but the potential for other flavours is impressive. A quantitative consumer beverage consumption study funded by America’s dairy farmers and conducted by Dairy Management Inc., indicates that next to chocolate and strawberry, teens and adults are interested in flavours such as cappuccino, chocolate banana, French vanilla, malted milk, mocha, mocha and strawberry banana (Beverage Industry 2003). The report indicates among those who drink milk, an important issue as to why they don’t drink more is that there are not enough flavours.

    Suppliers offer interesting flavours that work in milk. These include blue raspberry, cherry vanilla, chocolate mint, creamy orange, French toast, kiwi colada, pumpkin pie, root beer float and white chocolate (Beverage Industry 2003).

    Low-calorie Looney Tunes Slim Slammers, introduced by Bravo Foods International Corp. offer a 1 percent milk alternative to its 2 percent and whole-milk versions of the Looney Tune’s line. With 130 calories, the line is sweetened with Splenda. Slammers are packaged in 11.2-ounce octagonal Prisma shelf-stable packaging, as well as 11.5-ounce refrigerated plastic bottles and 8-ounce shelf-stable Tetra Paks (Berry 2001).

    Changing the name of White Soda to Crazy Cow Milk and repositioning the brand in the milk aisle has had a dramatic effect on the Florida-based company’s sales and popularity (Berry 2001). Its lemon-vanilla, strawberry, and orange flavours are sold alongside soda and juice in shelf-stable, 8.5-ounce can.

    The following are a few of the main ingredients used in Flavoured Milk Category (Beverage Industry 2003):

    Cocoa Liquor: The meat of shelled cocoa beans that has been ground to extract some of the cocoa butter, leaving a thick, dark brown paste.

    Reduced-fat Chocolate Powder: A powder obtained from full-fat, conched chocolate, from which some or virtually all of the fat has been removed.

    Cocoa Butter: The fat extracted from cocoa beans, which is solid at room temperature and melts in the mouth.

    Cocoa Powder: The solid portion remaining after cocoa butter is extracted from chocolate liquor.

    White Chocolate: Not true chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, only either cocoa butter or chocolate butter, depending on the manufacturer.

    Researchers at the University of California-Davis have been making headlines with their new finding–the cardiovascular benefits of chocolate. They have found that chocolate contains some of the same antioxidant compounds of red wine, the polyphenols (Beverage Industry 2003).

    Although the French commonly consume rich and fatty foods, their incidence of cardiovascular disease is very low (Beverage Industry 2003). This has become known as the “French paradox.” One theory is that the French remain healthy due, in part, to the consumption of red wine that contains these cardio-protective antioxidant compounds.

    The “chocolate paradox” refers to new research showing chocolate, which contains large amounts of fat and sugar, as well as cardio-protective polyphenols, may provide an evenstronger effect than the polyphenols in red wine. In a study of healthy adults, researchers found that platelet activation was inhibited two and six hours after consuming a chocolate beverage, suggesting that a long-term moderate intake of chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease (Beverage Industry 2003).

    With so much interesting research and complex chemistry, it is no wonder that Montezuma was said to consume more than 50 cups of chocolate beverages daily, and chocolate houses in Europe at one time competed in popularity with coffee houses and pubs. Source: Prepared Foods/  (Beverage Industry 2003)
    Chapter 03: Research Methodology


    Research Approach

    This is an exploratory research to understand consumer preferences and perceptions about flavoured milk therefore; initially personal interviews along with a focus group session have been planned. These will take more time as compared to quantitative instruments like a survey but will give us the orientation to carry out this research effectively and explore by probing the participants about their preferences and perceptions of the new flavoured milk idea. But since qualitative responses are not generalisable with some level of confidence over the entire population therefore, a survey questionnaire is also proposed to be conducted based on the conceptual concept formed in this proposal and insights which will be gained from the qualitative instruments. However, it is also proposed that open ended questions be added to elicit flexible responses from the participants to capture maximum ideas and thoughts.


    Database of Study

    Demographically the research participants consist of both male and female with no age restrictions. Psychologically participants with health awareness and concerns will be included. Sampling will mainly focus on the “Convenience Sampling” technique due to time and budget constraints.

    Qualitative Perspective:

    Qualitative Analysis will enable us to performed content analysis. As this analysis is exploratory in nature it will enable us to give key insights about the consumer perceptions and preferences about flavoured milk and also give us the right orientation for survey.

    Quantitative Perspective:

    SPSS or Ms Excel sheet may be used for quantitative analysis as we believe it will facilitate us with quick processing of the quantitative data.


    Limitations of Study

    The following are a few limitations which the researchers will face:

    1)         Limited Budget.

    2)         Limited Time,

    3)         Lack of Knowledge in related areas.

    4)         Barriers while performing qualitative research.


    Ethical Considerations

    The following rights of the participants will be reserved throughout the process of this research:

    à   Informed Consent: The participant will be informed about the details of the study and how they can most effectively add value to this research. (Refer to Appendix: Informed Consent)

    à   Right of Withdrawal: Participant can withdraw at any stage during the research process.

    à   Right of Refusal: Participant can refuse to share information.

    à   Privacy: The information shared by the participant will not be disclosed to others.

    à   Anonymity of Data: The identity of the participant will remain anonymous.



    1.      Berry, Donna. Chocolate Milk Wars. Dairy Foods, 08880050, Sep2001, Vol. 102, Issue 9

    2.      Beverage Industry. Milk with a kick.  01486187, May2003, Vol. 94, Issue 5

    3.      Dairy Field. Got Flavoured Milk? Sep2006, Vol. 189 Issue 9, p47-47, 2/3p

    4.      National Petroleum News. Savour the Flavour. National Petroleum News, Apr2006, Vol. 98 Issue 4, p15-15, 1p

    5.      USA Today Magazine Flavoured Milk Provides Needed Nutrients. 01617389, Oct2002, Vol. 131, Issue 2689





    Informed Consent

    Dear Participant

    We are the students of [The name of the institution appears here]. We are conducting a research on “the reasons why a large population of South Asians, with Coronary Heart Disease and residing in the UK, do not concord to physical exercise”.

    We, as researchers, would like to invite you for your voluntarily participation in our research. As a participant you will be required to attend an interview session and/or a focus group with us. The date and timing will be fixed upon agreement.  The interview will include some questions about your views on the topic.  The interview session will approx. last for 40 minutes.

    You are given complete assurance of our privacy policy that your name and contact details will solely be used for research purposes and will not be given to any individual or organization in any case, whatsoever. The information you provide us will not be given to any other individual except the involved researchers.

    You reserve the rights to withdraw from the research at any point of time as well as may refuse to answer any of the questions from the interviewers.  You may ask any question, any time regarding any area of research in case of ambiguity.


    Best Regards

    [The name of the Researchers appears here]


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