Fluid dairy milk consumption has decreased over the last 4 decades, and this drop has accelerated with the introduction of many competing beverage alternatives, such as plant-based milks and bottled water. Conversely, flavored milk sales remain strong, but many adults avoid flavored milk because of concerns about added sugar and calories and/or excessive sweetness. Here we used two discrete choice experiments to assess interest for a dark chocolate milk drink in adults, and explored whether there might be a consumer segment who prefers a more bitter, lower sugar chocolate milk. Adults were recruited from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States for two conjoint analysis studies. In a general population cohort (n = 735), type of sweetener was the most important attribute (24%), followed by milk fat (19%), grams of added sugar (16%), front of pack messaging (15%), package type (12%), carton size (8%), and protein content (6%). Attribute importance was relatively consistent in a second study with a younger, more physically active cohort (n = 1017). Product choices in the active cohort were related to orthorexia and physically activity scores, indicating revealed preferences in a choice task are reflective of personal lifestyle and eating behavior. In both cohorts, three consistent consumer segments were identified and characterized: the calorie conscious, the average consumer, and the natural eaters. These data can help uncover lifestyle differences between adult consumers that impact their food product choices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics