Economic research on the BMEL Project: "Focus on School Milk"
Less and less pupils consume school milk - although school milk products are subsidized. Is the image of milk deterrent? Do not people know about its importance to health or do they disagree? Or is school milk still too expensive? The project "Focus on School Milk" analyses school milk along the supply chain, from the dairy industry to the pupil. The Thünen-Institut of Market Analysis explores, in cooperation with the Max Rubner-Institut reason for the decline in demand and provides advice to improve te system.
School milk consumption has declined steadily in Germany. To retrieve quantifiable information on the different influencing factors and to provide approaches to improve the school milk demand, a research project was set up by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The main objective is to evaluate the impact of factors like price; attitudes and habits (especially consumption habits); social background, gender, economic situation; knowledge; product range and distribution form, as well as of nutritional education measures.
The project consists of a main project and several attached projects. Within the main project, schools located in North Rhine Westphalia were selected by stratified random sampling. The impacts of prices were derived in a price experiment in which the price of school milk was reduced stepwise during the school year 2008/09, and increased over the school year 2009/10, while quantities of demand are reported regularly. Almost all other information/data is captured by questionnaires given to pupils, parents, class teachers, school principals, school milk managers, and delivery firms, with a focus on the consumption of dairy products, attitudes towards school milk and milk in general, acceptance of the school milk program, distribution problems throughout the chain as well as on the handling.
Data based on the different surveys and panel data of the price experiment were pooled und analysed by different analytical approaches. A special emphasis was put on the application on a multilevel-analysis allowing the joint analysis of data with different structure.
The free-of-charge distribution of school milk had a high positive impact in the demand decision, confirming the importance of the policy setting (e.g., availability of subsidies). Although the price had an expected negative effect, its impact is limited. In addition to socio-economic factors (e.g., age, gender, immigration background and income of households), the behavior and attitudes of pupils and parents, as well as the context or environment surrounding the school milk offering (e.g., number of school milk products, whether teachers drink milk with the pupils during the break) had an impact.
Ergebnisberichte: „Schulmilch im Fokus“ (PDF, 3,52 MB)
Schulmilch - Teilprojekt 4 (PDF, 1,46 MB)
Schulmilch - Teilprojekt 6 (PDF, 992 KB)