Organic Milk: Attitudes and Consumption Patterns

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BFJ 104,7



Organic milk: attitudes and consumption patterns
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Department of Retailing and Marketing, Manchester, UK
Keywords Organic food, Milk, Consumer behaviour Abstract This article considers consumer attitudes and motivation towards organic food, and milk specifically. This is then linked to the resulting purchase behaviour. Based on a combination of secondary and primary research, the results indicate the dynamics between these concepts. The resulting discussion highlights the importance of the associated internal and external factors within
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Milk market overview The dairy market consists of milk, butter, cream, yoghurt, dairy desserts and cheese. In value terms, the market is dominated by milk, a large commodity

BFJ 104,7


Figure 2. Most populat organic foods

product, accounting for 43.5 per cent of all sales in 1997. The share held by milk of total sales has been falling throughout the 1990s (Market Review, 1998, pp. 16567). The dairy market has been suffering over the last four years as falling prices has meant that farmers are receiving less than the cost of production for their milk at payments of around 16ppl (price per litre). Since 1995/1996 farmers prices have dropped by about 40 per cent from 26ppl peak (Crosskey, 2000, p. 4). The 1990s saw a shift away from whole milk towards semi-skimmed milk, in line with consumers concerns about health. This now accounts for more than a half of all fresh milk sales. Furthermore, the market has stabilised at this position, as whole milk continues to play an important role in the diet of young children and also in the prevention of osteoporosis among older women (Market Intelligence, 2000, p. 4). However some of the reasons for the overall decline in milk consumption have been due to the decrease of consumption of tea, coffee and cereals, which are normally added to these products. For future growth, the market

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