According to a Chinese study on flavored milk published in the Journal of Dairy Science, companies looking to introduce products into the Chinese market need to consider distinct regional preferences.
The researchers looked at flavored milk because, they note, with the development of a national economy and the improvement of living standards in China, flavored liquid milk has become an essential daily nutrition source of Chinese residents.
The study looked at consumer preferences of basic flavor attributes of milk from various cities in China; and determined the improvement direction for specific products and the ideal overall liking for consumers in various cities.
The results showed that consumers in China have local-specific requirements for characteristics of flavored liquid milk.
For consumers in Beijing, appropriate levels of sourness and sweetness were important and consumers preferred flavored liquid milk in which the intensity of fresh milk flavor and thickness were high.
Consumers in Chengdu preferred flavored liquid milk with medium intensity of sourness and sweetness and high intensity of fresh milk flavor and thickness.
However, consumers in Shanghai preferred samples with high intensity of sweetness and thickness, but did not have specific requirements for sourness.
High intensity of smoothness was not particularly preferred for consumers of all cities studied.
Improving the sensory quality of flavored liquid milk by engaging sensory analysis and consumer preference
Journal of Dairy Science, Available online 20 April 2016
Ruicong Zhi, Lei Zhao, Jingye Shi