Chocolate milk and the Hispanic consumer

J Food Sci. 2007 Nov;72(9):S666-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00559.x.


The U.S. Hispanic population is increasing, and purchasing power of this group is also increasing. Little is known about the attitudes and preferences of Hispanic adults or children toward chocolate milk. The objective of this study was to understand Hispanic consumer attitudes and preferences for chocolate milk. Focus groups with Hispanic adults (> 18 y, 3 groups, n= 31) and children (10 to 14 y, 6 groups, n= 29) were conducted to gain qualitative insight into perceptions and consumption trends. Using focus group results and descriptive analysis profiles of chocolate milks, 5 representative chocolate milks were selected for quantitative consumer testing. Milks were evaluated for overall liking and other attributes by Hispanic adults (n= 79), Caucasian adults (n= 91), and Hispanic children (n= 45). Analysis of variance and internal and external preference mapping were conducted to characterize differences among treatments and ethnic groups. Chocolate milks were differentiated by descriptive analysis (P < 0.001) in visual, flavor, and mouthfeel attributes. Hispanic children (n= 45) rated all chocolate milks higher in liking than Hispanic or Caucasian adults, and documented significant differences in liking for milks evaluated (P < 0.05). Caucasians adults were generally more discriminatory in liking of chocolate milks than Hispanic adults, but consistent ethnic differences were observed only for chocolate flavor liking where Hispanics assigned higher chocolate flavor liking scores to milks compared to Caucasians. Three consumer clusters were identified and the drivers for these clusters were largely consistent with previous chocolate milk consumer studies in that many of the same key drivers of liking for chocolate milk were identified. The results indicated that these consumer clusters were not defined exclusively by ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cacao*
  • Child
  • Color
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Food Preferences / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk*
  • Perception / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology
  • Viscosity
  • Whites / psychology
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data