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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

This study concerns sociological, psychological, and economic variables that fluid-milk bottlers (from their knowledge and experience) believe are relevant to the marketing problems they face. Many of these marketing problems arose because the competitive conditions in the processing and distribution of milk have undergone substantial changes in recent years. These changes have affected the marketing operations of fluid-milk bottlers and produced changes in relationships between bottlers and retailers.

Data were collected from managers of fluid-milk bottling plants located in the North Central Region on their operations, their problems, changes in their market environment, and adjustments in their operations. These data were subjected to factor analysis. This report is devoted mainly to summarizing results from a factor analysis of 195 questions answered by each of 242 managers of plants who supplied supermarket chains with milk and who answered questions about fluid-milk bargaining cooperatives. Hierarchical factor analysis of these data provided 12 group factors and five general factors. A factor is identified as a basic or fundamental variable statistically independent of other factors and relevant to an understanding of bottler behavior. Answers to each question provide data on one variable. Each variable whose simple correlation with any group factor exceeded 0.14 in absolute value was assigned to the group factor with which it was most highly correlated. Also, if a variable’s simple correlation with any general factor exceeded 0.14 in absolute value, the variable was assigned to the general factor with which it was most highly correlated. Each factor was assigned a name and an economic interpretation by studying the nature of the variables assigned to that factor.

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