Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is chocolate milk hip?

Sports and energy drink have become popular in the past decades or rather dubious grounds, as the recover and boost effect claimed in ads are in many cases false. See for example Vitamin water and Gatorade. In fact, plain water has much better recuperating properties than most of these sports drinks. And so does apparently chocolate milk, which has prompted marketing campaigns in the US with many athletes as spokespersons.

Senarath Dharmasena and Oral Capps, Jr. try to find the determinants of the demand for chocolate milk using a Heckman two-step demand model. Unfortunately, no regression results are presented, but the authors hint at a few interesting results. A quarter of all US households consume chocolate milk, with an average of 12 liters a year per household. Then they claim a number of household characteristics are significant, but with no indication in which way they are. For example, education of the household head is significant, and Hispanic household head as well. It would be interesting to know whether the relationship is positive or not. And as the authors ask in their title whether chocolate milk is the new-age sports drink, I am intrigued as how they could have answered this question. There is nothing in the paper itself about it.

Why am I reporting on such a thin paper? Because it always struck me how Europeans view adults drinking milk and especially chocolate milk as childish, while is it perfectly accepted in the US. I was wondering whether this difference could be seen in an empirical demand equation. Not in that one, though.


Tim Worstall said...

"Because it always struck me how Europeans view adults drinking milk and especially chocolate milk as childish"

Eh? Depends which Europeans.

Here in Portugal, the drink of champions. Although there is a tendency to hide a decent slug of brandy in the bottom....

Anonymous said...

Especially in Holland, milk is _everywhere_. People drink it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with eating a cheese sandwich and having yogurt for dessert.