An Experiment with Milk March 24 2015, 0 Comments

By Krishna Ra

Working as a cashier at Market Basket, a bargain, non-organic, grocery store, I was able to do a survey of all the customers who purchased milk (any brand of milk not just Stonyfield). I took this survey on Saturday, April 12, 2014, during my working shift from 7am-12pm as a school assignment/project. I had a total of 50 customers that purchased milk that morning. Out of the 50 customers, there were only 12 customers who bought Stonyfield Organic Milk. I asked all 12 customers why they bought this particular milk, and all 12 responded that they could taste the difference from Stonyfield milk and regular milk. “There is a hint of sweetness and taste of purity” said one customer.

As I was scanning the other items of the customers that purchased Stonyfield Milk, I noticed that 10 out of the 12 customers bought other organic products such as organic fruits and vegetables, organic yogurt, organic oats, etc. I came to a conclusion that customers who bought this milk lived the “whole foods” lifestyle. They enjoyed drinking and eating organic food; they enjoyed drinking and eating healthy. I observed the customers themselves who bought the milk. They were not overweight and looked lean and healthy for the most part.

Five out of the twelve customers purchased the milk for their children to drink. One customer said “I purchase Stonyfield milk for not only myself but my whole family, especially my kids. First of all, the milk is organic which means that no growth hormones were used. And second, this product is USDA selected which means that I can trust the product being safe for my kids and my 13 month old baby.”

Out of the fifty customers, thirty-eight of them purchased milk other than Stonyfield, yet shockingly, none of the thirty-eight customers purchased another brand of organic milk. They all bought either Market Basket brand milk or Hood milk. I asked all the customers why they didn’t purchase Stonyfield milk. Twenty-one of them replied that it’s too expensive. One customer said, “I can purchase a gallon of Market Basket milk for $2.49 whereas a half gallon of Stonyfield Milk is double the price.”

Thirteen customers didn’t think there was a difference between organic milk and regular milk. They thought it was a waste of money. After evaluating all of my customers’ responses, I was able to categorize the customers that purchase Stonyfield milk. The primary purchasers of this product are usually adults in their mid twenties and early thirties. Their lifestyle not only consists of consuming organic milk, it includes eating healthy and organic overall.

These are the customers that would purchase organic fruits and vegetables over regular GMO fruits and vegetables. Mostly everything they purchase is USDA organic; everything from the yogurt to their meats. Even though the price of organic food is expensive, they care more about eating and feeling healthy rather than about spending their money. A happy life is a healthy life to them. On the controversy, there are many reasons why someone wouldn’t purchase Stonyfield milk. The most popular reason is their budget. Saving money is important to these folks over their health.

Why would or wouldn't you purchase organic milk?