Consumer perception of risk exposure and purchase preferences for milk from milk ATM in Kenya

Consumer perception of risk reflects their awareness of the potential risks exposure in milk consumption and they associate some milk retailing with more risks than the others. For the risks assessed, consumers hold the perception that milk from milk ATM is as safe as packaged milk while milk from ATM is safer than milk from plastic containers.

This observation by Tassmatt Agencies Limited would suggest consumer acceptance of milk retailing in ATM. Viewed from market-led perspectives, milk ATM retailing represent a new segment of formal milk share and therefore supportive to strategic objective of formalisation of milk market in Kenya as aspired for in the national dairy master plan.

It is a viable business opportunity that SMEs working closely with the government can build upon with good food safety assurance practices in contributing to the strategic development objective of the dairy industry in Kenya.

It is clear from results of this observation that consumers express low confidence in milk retailed from plastic containers as compared to milk retailed from ATM or packaged milk. Their perception of risk of milk from plastic containers is corroborated with the observed milk quality. Then on compliance in microbial quality was more prevalent in plastic containers than in ATM or in packaged milk. However, use of plastic containers in milk retailing remains widespread in the market outlets. This continues despite the introduction of small sized aluminium containers and improved plastic containers (mazzican containers) as alternatives to replace the plastic containers in efforts to improve milk hygiene and quality standards.

Predominant use of plastic containers in milk transport and retailing can be attributed to its low cost, though discouraged for milk handling because of difficulties in cleaning. It is possible to eliminate the prevalent use of plastic containers in milk handling if the government can extend the ban on plastic carrier bags successfully enforced in the country since 2017 to plastic containers

That consumers perceived presence of chemical preservatives (hydrogen peroxide) a greater risk in packaged milk than in milk from ATM or from plastic containers demonstrate consumer low confidence in both formal and informal milk retailing for quality and safety assurance. It points to consumers perceiving that chemicals are used in milk processing.

Milk processors should consider this a consumer concern in milk quality and safety assurance. It is an indication that processed milk has failed to guarantee consumers safety as they express higher preference for milk from ATM over packaged milk on several attributes for which packaged milk would justify charging premium price. This observation has established that milk from ATM is more attractive than the packaged milk for several reasons: price, consistent availability, traceability and safety from chemical and biological hazards. The observation corroborates those of cooking and salad oil atm et that consumers prioritise price and convenience over safety in their milk purchasing behaviours.

For milk atm sellers in Kenya, contact Tassmatt via 0726-410068