The data were collected by means of an online survey (web assisted personal interviews - WAPI) in which 1,036 people participated, 1,003 of whom consumed milk. The sample was chosen to be representative of the Austrian population over 18 years of age.
Special emphasis was placed on the topics of consumption behavior, storage conditions and shelf life in the household, and knowledge about ESL (extended shelf life) milk.
The results of the WAPI show that milk is still a valued food. However, newer forms of marketing, such as lactose-free milk, are rapidly succeeding in capturing market segments.
In general, it can be noted that consumers are basically aware of how to handle milk as a food. For example, the optimal storage temperature is estimated quite well by most. However, it is questionable whether the answers given in the survey correspond to the reality in household refrigerators. For example, only 34% of respondents say they use a thermometer in the refrigerator to check the storage temperature.
The indication of the best-before date in connection with the validity for opened packages is surprisingly misunderstood by only 3.2% of the interviewees.
On the other hand, there are also indications of gross errors in handling milk, such as drinking directly from the package by 38.3% of the participants.
B. ROSSMANN*, U. ALDRIAN, C. LAGUNA PAREDES, H. SUN