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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1964. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1964, the author. Used by permission.


The fluid milk sold in the Lincoln, Nebraska, market is sold under private labels and various dairies have attempted to differentiate their product.The hypothesis was made that there were no major differences in the technical product itself.However, it was felt that the consumer was actually differentiating the milk using technical product differences as well as other factors.

The study was broken down into two major parts.The first part determined the homogeneity of the technical product which was limited to the regular Grade A milk.By conducting a taste panel and checking the laboratory analysis of the milk which is conducted periodically, the homogeneity of the technical product was established.The second portion of the study was to determine what factors the consumer was using to differentiate the fluid milk sold in Lincoln, Nebraska.Both the physical and psychological “brand images” were examined by using motivational techniques, as well as direct question procedures.

The major conclusions which were made are listed below and a more detailed discussion of these conclusions will follow:

  1. No major technical product differences were found.

  2. A moderate degree of product differentiation of the fluid milk exists in the Lincoln market.

  3. Product differentiation barriers to entry are high.

  4. Consumers feel more is spent for advertising than is desirable or beneficial to the consumer in general.

Advisor: James G. Kendrick