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Customer Perception of Milk

Customer Perception of Milk

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Published by Shruti Papneja

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Published by: Shruti Papneja on Feb 04, 2013
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IndianManagementStudies Journal
Consumer Behaviour Regarding BrandedMilk vis-a-vis Unbranded Milk
Sandeep Singh Virdi* Dyal Bhatnagar** Hardeep Kaur*
Punjab School of Management Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India)
University School of Business Studies. Punjabi University Guru Kashi Campus.Talwandi Saba, Dist. Bathinda. Punjab (India)
AbstractIndia's dairy market is multi-layered. It's shaped like a pyramid with the basemade up of a vast market for low-cost milk. Consumers while purchasing dairy productslook for freshness, quality, taste and texture, variety and convenience. How to make milk and milk products affordable for the large majority with limited purchasing power is essenceof the challenge in the present scenario. In contrast, with a constant increase in disposableincomes among the strong middle income class also, the scope of marketing of milk haswidened. Since the consumers are not homogeneous, the consumption pattern of milk likequantum of purchase, mode of purchase, source of purchase, brand preference etc., iscontinually varying. Dairy companies, particularly in Punjab, will have to spend lot of effort on advertising and other promotional activities. Milk companies are also advised tostrengthen their supply chain and other logistics and use intermediaries to promote andmake their products available to the end consumer.The socio-economic profile of the consumers, viz. income status, occupationalposition, educational level, age and region are the major determinants of the consumptionpatterns of milk. Hence, the concentrate of the present study will deliberate on the profileof consumers, their consumption pattern in milk consumption and its correlates.
During the last three decades, our nation's milk producers have transformedIndian dairying from stagnation to world leadership. During this period and before,
science and technology (S&T) have played a critical role in supporting our farmers'efforts. During the next decade, that role will be further enhanced as we face anumber of new challenges.The dairy cooperative movement has been central to the development of dairying in India. The inspiration for this movement was the success of the KhairaDistrict Cooperative Milk Producers Union -- better known as AInu!. Founded in1946 in response to the exploitation of districts dairy farmers, AInul grew rapidlyfrom its initial base of two societies and two hundred litres of milk. That growth,however, posed a challenge that threatened its existence: flush season productionof milk exceeded the demand. Yet the cooperative's success depended on acceptingthe farmer's milk year round. At that time the advanced dairying nations conservedmilk by conversion into powder and butter. This could either be sold as products,or combined with fluid milk to extend the supply during the lean season whendemand outstripped production. Experts from the North, pronounced buffalo milas unsuitable for conversion into powder. It could not be done, they said. Thisprovided the opportunity for the first major Indian scientific and technologicalbreakthrough. The AInul staffled by the then General Manager; solved the problemsby producing powder from buffalo milk. It would not be an exaggeration to say thatthis advance in the technology saved AInul and, with it, ensured the future of theas yet unborn Indian dairy cooperative movement. Since that time, S&T haveproduced a large number of breakthroughs that have been critically important tothe development of Indian dairying.The Indian dairy industry acquired substantial growth during the 8th Plan,achieving an annual output of over 69 million tonnes of milk. India's milk outputduring the year 2000-01 was estimated to be 81 million tones. (Source: Governmentof India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying &Fisheries). This has not only placed the industry first in the world, but alsorepresents sustained growth in the availability of milk and milk products for theburgeoning population of the country. Most important, dairying has become animportant secondary source of income for millions of rural families and for millionsmore, has assumed the most important role in providing employment and income.The per capita availability of the milk has also increased to a level of about 221 g.per day, but this is still very low as compared to developed nations or the worldaverage of 285 g.per day. Government of India is making efforts to increase theproductivity of milch animals and thus increase the per capita availability of milk.India's dairy market is multi-layered. It's shaped like a pyramid with thebase made up of a vast market for low-cost milk. The bulk of the demand for milk is among the poor in urban areas whose individual requirement is small, may be a
glassful for use as whitener for their tea and coffee. Nevertheless, it adds up to asizablevolume - millions of litresper day. In the major cities lies an immense growthpotential for the modem sector. Presently, barely 778 out of 3,700 cities and,townsare served by its milk distribution network, dispensing hygienically packedwholesome, quality pasteurized milk. According to one estimate, the packed milk segment would double in the next five years, giving both strength and volume tothe modem sector. The narrow tip at the top is a small but affluent market forwestern type milk productsOf the three A's of marketing - Availability,Acceptability and Affordability,Indian dairying is already endowed with the first two. People in India love to drink milk. Hence, no efforts are needed to make it acceptable. Its availability is not alimitation either, because of the ample scope for increasing milk production, giventhe prevailing low yields from dairy cattle. It leaves the third vital marketing factoraffordability.How to make milk affordable for the large majority with limited purchasingpower is essence of the challenge. One practical way is to pack milk in smallquantities of 250 ml or less in polythene sachets. Already, the glass bottle forretailing milk has given way to single-use sachets which are more economical.Another viable alternative is to sell small quantities of milk powder in mini-sachets,adequate for two cups of tea or coffee.India, with her sizable dairy industry growing rapidly and on the path of modernization, would have a place in the sun of prosperity for many decades tocome. In 2002, India's milk production stood at 81 billion litres of which about 15per cent of the volume was packaged (Venkatraman, 2002). The one index to thestatement is the fact that the projected total milk output over the next 15 years(1995-2010) would exceed 1457.6million tonnes which is twice the total productionof the past 15 years!The National Dairy Development Board has drawn up a Perspective Plan,2010 for Cooperative Milk Unions, with the objective to raise milk procurement andincrease cooperative share in marketing of milk and milk products. 80 Milk Unionshave submitted their Perspective Plans to NDDB with an outlay of about Rs. 900crore. NDDB has approved Plans of about 60 Milk Unions with an investmentoutlay of Rs. 750 crore. Formalities of entering into agreements / hypothecation of assets are being completed (Source: Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture,Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying
Fisheries.)India with 204 million cows and 84 million buffaloes has the largestpopulation of cattle in the world. Milk production gives employment to 70 milliondairy farmers. In terms of total production, India ranks 1st with a production of 78

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