Milk maybe milk but people will buy the prettier packages.

File:Milk glass.jpg WikiCommons I just read FYI-Milk is Milk! Don’t be fooled by creative “branding”!. While I agree with the premiss that 'milk is milk' I also have to agree that branded milk is better than unbranded milk.

Example: No-Name Generic brand or Generic Brand of products (those products with white packaging and green band) of the late 1970's offered products whose major feature was lowest price.

The introduction of the generic brands immediately opened up new markets for the distributors and stores. They were able to create their own store brands to compete with premium brands. Customers immediately bought into this choice. Based on packaging (and associated marketing/branding), people purchased goods. Looking for great peanut butter? Buy Jiffy. Looking to save some money? Buy the store brand. Coca-Cola or Sam's Cola? Choice expanded.

Fast forward to today: grocery stores have 10s of thousands of products of all kinds and varieties. We expect this. If there is a new product we make a decision to buy based on the packaging, branding, and positioning within the store. Even stores are branded, setting the expectation that Whole Foods has "better" food than Jewel even though many products in both stores have similar manufactures, taste, and quality.

So even though milk may be just milk, milk with pretty pictures and fancy words will sway some number of consumers to purchase it. Marketing is not just about stating the facts. It is also about making you feel better, faster, stronger. How many of you wanted those Michael Jordan basket ball shoes because (by association) those shoes would make you a better player?
"There's a sucker born every minute." (erroneously credited to P. T. Barnum)
In July 2009, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published "Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review", stating:
"Despite growing consumer demand for organically produced foods, information based on a systematic review of their nutritional quality is lacking."
Many hoped to use this information to help dispel some of the organic rhetoric.

However, it is being discovered that this nutritional fact may not be top of mind for consumers when they purchase. The SupermarketGuru provided a response to nutritional research with a quick poll:
"What does organic mean to you?" found that the number one issue that comes to mind is "no antibiotics" (71%). However, the number two answer was "higher cost" (64%). In a tie for third place, 62% our readers associate "better for the environment", "hormone free", "no artificial flavors/colors", and "no pesticides". "Better nutrition" only received 29% of the votes, while "always the healthiest option" received 22% of votes. Twenty-six percent chose "better flavor".
So what is to be learned here? Producers have already brand their products to differentiate themselves from others. You can take a position that says "milk is milk" but there will always be marketers out there to create that uncertainty and people will continue to buy.