To assess the purchasing habits of households that purchase food for children versus those that do not, researchers from Purdue University and Oklahoma State University collected data through an online survey tool, Qualtrics. Respondents, required to be 18 years of age or older, were asked a variety of questions to collect demographic information and dairy product purchasing behavior from US
The survey received a total of 1,440 responses to be assessed. Per the results, 511 respondents indicated they frequently purchased food specifically for children, whereas 929 indicated they did not. Of the 1,440 respondents, 521 indicated that they had at least one child in the household, and 912 indicated they did not have children in their household. The study found that households that frequently purchased food for children generally purchased larger quantities of fluid milk, along with their chosen fluid milk having a higher fat content. Households with children also bought yogurt more frequently than other households.
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Other findings from the survey indicated that cheese and milk are most often purchased for part of a meal, and yogurt is bought most frequently as a snack. The survey also found that households largely reported reviewing product attributes of price, expiration date, and nutritional information (in that order) on egg, milk, and meat labels.
“Future studies can build on this work by evaluating whether there is a spillover effect from purchasing specifically for children and the general dairy and protein product purchasing habits of those households,” said Dr. Courtney Bir, PhD, coauthor of the study and assistant professor, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA.
Policy makers and companies can use this information to help inform product labeling and better target necessary segments to increase product awareness and better the dairy industry as a whole.
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