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Abstract

Using urban survey data collected by the authors in 2001–02, this paper analyses demographics, cultural factors and purchasing behaviours influencing the consumption of fresh milk, yogurt, ice cream and powered milk in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, China. Results from estimation of a double-hurdle model of consumption show that income and marketing channels are the key determinants of milk consumption levels; however, education, advertising and convenience play a more important role in consumption of other dairy products. There is some evidence that milk powder, as a consumer good, may be becoming an inferior product in urban China. Finally, the survey data suggest that the growing sophistication of China’s retail sector is influencing consumption of dairy products.

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