A survey of quality of selected brands of butter sold in one-pound cartons at retail in New York and Chicago

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Title:
A survey of quality of selected brands of butter sold in one-pound cartons at retail in New York and Chicago
Physical Description:
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Creator:
Sprague, Gordon W
Foelsch, Gertrude G., 1892-
Small, Edward
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Publisher:
s.n. ( Washington )
Publication Date:

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aleph - 028426070
oclc - 52172790
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AA00017398:00001


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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics


A SURVEY OF QUALITY OF SELECTED BRANDS CF BUTTER SOLD IN

ONE-POUND CARTONS AT RETAIL IN NEW YORK AND CHICAGO

















Gordon W. Sprague,
Senior Agricultural Economist
Gertrude G. Foelsch,
Junior Agricultural Economist


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UNIV OF FL L1
DOCUMENTS QPT

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US DEPOSITORY


Washington, D. C.
February 1939


and
Edward Small,
Marketing Specialist


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Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries with support from LYRASIS and the Sloan Foundation



























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A SURV OF QUALITY F07 SLBCTID BRANDS F07 BUTTER SOLD IN
N01 POUND CARTONS AT RETAIL IN NEW YORK AND CHICAGO


By Gordon I. Sprague, Senior Agricultural Economist,
Gertrude G. Foelsch, Junior Agricultural Economist, and
Edward Small, Marketing Speciali st


A conner who buys butter that carries a certificate of quality
issued by authority of the United States Department of Agriculture i1
likely to get a product of higher quality than she would have obtained
had she bought butter that did not carry the certificate. This fact is
borne out by the results of this survey which shows that although a great
deal of butter that sto sold without quality certificates is Just as good
as the butter that bears the certificate, a great deal is sold that could
not meet the high quality standards required in order to obtain the cer-
tificate. Therefore if a butter of high quality Is wanted the safest
procedure is to look for the Government certificate when making purchases.
A facsimile of the certificate is shown below. It shows the score, which
indicates the quality, and the date the certificate was issued.


--- -- -- =-*=-*- *8*

CERTIFICATE OF QUALITY
Issued by Authority of the
United States Department of Agriculture.
This is ro certify that the churning of butter from which the butter
in this package was taken wag traded by an official United Sates Buttner
Grader and chat the date of sid grading and the number of the grading
certificate issued are perforated hereon., and that the ouality of it when graded was
U. S. 92 Score or Higher
DISTRIBUTED BY *

Note: To read the perforations: Read perforations from the back of certificate.
First four numerals indicate number of grading certificate; the next two numerals
indicate the calendar month, and the last two numerals, the day of month the buner
was graded.
*


At present, these certificates are issued only for butter that
has been government graded U. S. 92 or 93 score. The scores are not
percentages but are simply designating marks. It would be Just as use-
ful to use an "AAU for the 93 score and NA" for 92 score. Numerical
scores, however, are of long standing in wholesale trading and are well
understood and have been used by retailers largely for those reasons.
The important point here is that both 92 score and 93 score butter are
high-quality products. In order to provide the consumers with butter
of this quality unusual precautions must be taken all along the line by
the dairyman, the manufacturer and finally by the retail merchant.
Failure at any point in the line may result in lowering the grade of the
product. A little old cream left in a can, or failure to thoroughly









cleanse a vat, a pipe line, or a churn, may reduce the grade of a whole
churning of butter. Although butter is surprisingly resistant to deteri-
oration if properly cared for it is, of course, a perishable commodity.
A merchant who does not provide proper refrigeration or who puts the
butter in the same compartment with products such as certain meats, fruits,
vegetables, and other products that may impart an objectionable flavor to
the butter, may actually reduce the quality of the butter. Since the grade
of butter as indicated by the Certificate of Quality is determined before
the butter is packaged, there is some possibility of a consumer obtaining
butter of a lower grade than the certificate Indicates, unless merchants
pay careful attention to the conditions under which they keep their butter.

PURPOSE CF STUDY

Considerable criticism has been made of the Department of Agri-
culture because of this fact. It is contended that since deterioration
may take place the consumer is deceived. This study was not made to refute
this argument but rather to discover to what extent butter carrying certif-
icates of quality measured up tn the grade placed upon the certificates at
the time the butter was delivered to consumers at the retail stores.

Nothing in this report should be construed to mean that butter
which scores below 92 or 03 is unwholesome. Individual tastes vary greatly
and some consumers prefer lower scoring butter. The tendency of consumers,
however, appears to be toward a mild-flavored butter of low salt content.

The investigation on which this report is based was mpde by grading
actual purchases of butter made at retail stores. A representative of the
Bureau bought a pound of butter as any housewife might, and carried it to
the office where it was graded by government graders. The grade thus
ascertained was compared with the grade stated on the certificate of
quality if the butter carried a certificate. If the butter carried no
certificate it was compared with its grade name and the claims made on the
carton.

SCOPE AND METHOD CF STUDY

It was decided that a selected sample, applicable so far as
possible to large volumes of butter, would be the most satisfactory sub-
stitute for a truly random sample. The large number of variables that
may affect the keeping quality of butter between the time of manufacture
and the time of purchase by the consumer were assumed to be most fully
represented in the large consuming areas of the country. Therefore
New York and Chicago were selected as representative markets to be sur-
veyed. As these two markets have distinctive characteristics as to
location, population, pnd industrial enterprises, most inter-market dif-
ferences arising from these factors would be revealed in the respective
samples.

Upon the basis of these assumptions the following sampling plan
was developed:








- 3-


(1) Four areas were selected in each of these cities, each of
these areas being sampled once in each 4-week period, from January through
April 1038. The areas were selected as follows:

(A) A colored section.
(B) A low-income white section.
(C) A medium-income white section.
(D) A very wealthy section.

(2) The weekly sample was made up of 20 pounds of butter as follows:

(A) Eight pounds of butter bearing certificates of quality,
three of which were bought at large chain stores handling con-
siderable volume, three at large independent stores, and two
at small independent stores.

(B) Twelve pounds of other butter, five of which were bought
at large chain stores, five at other stores handling consider-
able volume, and two at small independent stores. In this
group, ten of the twelve pounds of butter bought were of well-
known, advertised brands. The remaining two were local brands
represented to the consumers as of high quality. No attempt
was made to sample all qualities of butter available to the
consumers.

(3) The butter was bought in solid-pound prints, rolls, and
quarter-pound prints. Each weekly purchase was made within a 24-hour
period, and was usually graded within 24 hours of the time of purchase.

It was not possible, in all instances, to o'tain a complete sample
of 20 pounds. This applied particularly to the colored section and low-
income white section where butter, especially the desired brands, was not
so generally available. In some stores in these areas only oleomargarine
was offered for sale.

The person who bought the butter asked for a pound of a certain
kind of butter and paid for it. After the package was received at the
office all identifying marks were removed and the package was given a
number. Thus the grader of the butter had no way of telling what particular
brand it was. The butter was graded by three graders who were not allowed
to talk during the operation. The grade placed upon it by each grader was
written on a slip of paper bearing the same number as the package. These
slips were then compared by a fourth person who had not participated in the
grading. Thus no collusion was possible and the chance of bias was almost
entirely eliminated.

Between January 1 and May 1 230 purchases were made at New York
and 264 at Chicago, making a total of 404 samples. The data gathered on
Form 1 (a copy of which is shown on the next page) by the persons making
the butter purchases and the gradings made by the federal butter in-
spectors provided the basic material for this investigation.


k..... ..-




















UNITED STATES DEPAlRTMEIT OF AGRICULTURE
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS

quality of. Retail Batter


Score Certified_


Area Date Purchased_ Score at Purchase


Store: Chain_ _Independent_ Delicatessen_ Days E


Retail Firm :__ Claims for Putter
Brand Name __ __ _
Packed by_ ._________-.------
Gertificate No.___ __ : Surface Flavor or (
Price per pound_ __ _
Amt. Sold Wkly-This brand__ Total :-
Type of Package, Roll Carton : Days held in retail
Solid Print Quartered Print :___ Held under refrigez
Gradin Held with other foc
Grading : Name or describe o0
Name____ ____ ___ Final____---
Score________ _____ ---________
Description of quality -_ ------- ----


Since Cert'n


condition _


L store_ _
action, Yes No
ds, Yes No___
tors in refrigerator


Form 1


City _--_ -_












PRESfWTATION OF DATA

The results of these gradlngs, with the exception of 6 samples
whtch were "No grade", are shown in tables 1, 2, and 3. The scores
represent the interior quality of the butter.


Table l.- Quality score of butter bought at both New York and Chicago


Brand I/ Certificate
Code Score
Na.y 92
LI Ghgo. 92
- N.Y. 93
1 Chgo. 93
-N.Y. 93
1 Ohgo. 93


Dl
EI


F

G
Gl
": H I
Ill
I
II


- N.Y.
- ago.
- N.Y.
- Chgo.
- N.Y.
- Chgo.
- N.Y.
- Chgo.
- N.Y.
- Chgo.
- N.Y.
- Chgo.


11th certificate of quality
2 to 1 chance of
Average Stdard& brand falling Standard
Packmep score deviation within range below error


ISb
. 8

15
13
7
12


r Score
51.88
91.56
92.53
92.08
92.57
91.83


Score
.83
.90
.74
.86
.53
.83


Wittho certiicAte6 of quality
14 90.50 .85
14 89.79 1.12
5 91.00 1.12
10 89.30 1.42
15 91.87 .92
15 91.27 1.33
9 89.89 .60
7 89.71 .95
13 90.15 1.14
16 90.31 .95
4 91.00 1.41
13 90.00 1.60


Score
91.05-92.71
90.66-92.46
01.79-93.27
91.22-92.94
92.04-93.10
91.00-92.66


89.65-91.35
88.67-90.91
89.88-92.12
87.88-90.72
90.95-92.79
89.94-92.60
89.29-90.49
88.76-90.66
89.01-91.29
89.33-91.26
89.5?9-'2.41
88.40-91.60


Score
.32
.23
.20
.25
.22
.25


.24
.31
.56
.47
.24
.36
.21
.39
.33
.24
.82
.48


21 / Like code symbols (A-Al) indicate like brands.


t
.1.
Al
a
Ii

'I
"'ih'*


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6 6 .


Table 2.- Quality score of bUttet bought at New Tork only


Sample

Code


a
b

d
e


f
g


Score on
Certificate

Score


93
93
93
1 93
I/ 92

-


With certificate of quality
-------- ---- ---- -- -- -- ----
2 to 1 chance of
Average Standard brand falling Stpndard
Packages *score deviation within range below error -


Number Score


Score


10 92.60 .52
6 92.50 .55
8 92.50 .53
38 92.71 .45
5 91.40 .1.14

Without certificate of


12
7
15


92.33
92.43
90.80
92.50


.78
.53
.68
.55


j 12 92.00 .60
k if 17 91.24 1.60

j/Includes several brands


Score


92.08-93.12
91.95-93.05
91.97-93.03
92.26-93.16
90.26-92.54

quality
91.55-93.11
91.90-92.96
90.12-91.48
91.95-93.05
91.40-92.60
89.64-92.84


Score
.17
.24
.20
.07
.57



.23
.22
.18
.24
.18
.40


--- -- -


Table 3.- Quality score of butter bought at Chicago only


Score on
Certificate


Score
93
92
92


With certificate of quality
--- --- --- -------------
2 to 1 chance of
Average Standard brand falling
Packages score deviation within range below


Number


Score


12 92.17
15 91.93
10 90.30


Score
.83
.70
1.25


Score
91.34-03.00
91.23-92.63
89.05-91.55


Standard
aWn'I


Score
.25
.19
.42


Without certificate of quality
----------------------------------- ----- -- -- ----


.91
.99
.77
1.38
.74
.90
.41
1.51
1.45
.74


90.90-92.72
90.41-92.39
90.67-92.21
87.35-90.11
90.64-92.12
90.24-92.04
92.42-93.24
89.82-92.84
89.55-92.45
89.88-91.36


-- -Incl---- -everal brands-.----------------------------
Vj Includes several brands


I


.24
.26
.20
.37
.28
.37
.18
.67
.48
.28


Sample

Code

m
n


--1I


wvs
K


91.81
91.40
91.44
88.73
91.38
91.14
92.83
91.33
91.CO
90.62


VA' VQ








:- 7 -


Statistically it must be recognized that although the scores are
expressed in numbers, they are not numbers in fact but classifications.
As they are not correlated at any point with real numerical values, the
problem of measurement is not serious, and for the purposes of this survey
the numerical scores are treated as real numbers.

For each brand of butter an average score is shown. The first
three brands in table 1 were sold with certificates of quality and the
remainder are other brands. With one exception, the average score for each
of the three brands sold with certificates of quality was higher than that
for any of the others, indicating that insofar as the national brands of
butter are concerned those sold with certificates of quality offer the con-
sumers a greater certainty with respect to high quality. Brand F was the
only one approaching the same average quality.

Another characteristic of the average score is revealed by a com-
parison of the results from the two markets. It is generally assumed that
New York consumers are more quality conscious than those at Chicago. At
first these averages seem to point to the verifying of this assumption for
in every instance but one the score at New York was higher than at Chicago.
This should not be true in the case of butter sold with certificates, how-
ever, since the standards of quality were applied without reference to
markets.

The next point to be considered is the degree of standardization.
It is desirable to know how consistently the score of a brand of butter
compares with its average. This is shown by the standard deviation that
measures the dispersion of individual scores about their mean. In this
respect, brand G at New York was the most consistent of the brands that
were not Government-graded. It had a standard deviation of only .6 of a
quality score. With this single exception, Government-graded butter was
the more highly standardized at New York.

The standard error of the mean shows the limits within which the
average score might be expected to vary if a different sample of the same
brand had been bought.

The quality scores of butter bought in New York but not duplicated
in Chicago are shown in table 2. These brands are local in character.
Sample d, for instance, is composed of several brands of butter sold with
Certificates of quality as 93 score. This represents very high quality and
very highly standardized butter, as evidenced by a high average and a low
standard deviation. Brands a, b, and c are about equally consistent. In
this group of New York brands, however, it should be pointed out that
brands f, g, i, and j also have average scores comparable with those of
butter sold with certificates of quality and that, in addition, brands g,
i, and j are equally well standardized.

The quality scores of butter bought in Chicago but not duplicated
in New York are shown in table 3. This record, for butter sold with cer-
tificates of quality, shows a more serious problem. Brand n, for instance,
is low in quality, poorly standardized, and indicates a real need for much
closer supervision. Later investigation showed that the difficulty was due


iL__







.h-


to the production from one creamery. The butter in this brand was scored
by the same inspectors both at the time of grading for the print room and
after purchase, as was the case with all other brands, but it did not have
satisfactory keeping quality. At Chicago only sample 1 was of Government-
graded 93 score. These small lets of butter sold rith certificates of
quality are not se well standardized as they should be for low-scoring
samples appeared in almost every brand listed. The best brand of butter
bought at Chicago in this survey was sample u, while the butter in samples
o, p, and q was equal to the butter sold with certificates of quality.

Another measure of the quality of Government-graded butter as com-
pared with other brands is given in column 5 ef tables 1, 2, and 3. The
ranges given -in these.columns were computed by measuring one standard
deviation above and one below the respective average. With the exception
of brand n, the housewife who buys butter carrying a certificate of quality
would have a 2-to-l chance of getting butter that grades between 90 and 93
score. In fact, the lower limit of the range is below 91 for only two
brands. In the case of butter not carrying a certificate of quality, the
housewife would have a 2-to-l chance of getting butter that grades between
87 and 93 score, with the lower limit of the range below 90 score for more
than half of the brands.

Quality in Government-Graded Butter

In New York, 84 pounds of butter that carried 93 score certificates
of quality were bought. In Chicago, only 37 pounds of comparable butter
were bought. The score at time of purchase as compared with the original
score is shown in table 4. About 54 percent of the butter that scored 93
was still of that score at the time of retail purchase. The butter that
lost one full quality sc-re amounted to.'3 8 percent of the total -axid 8 per-
cent lost more than one quality score.

Table 4.- Loss in quality of 93 score butter between dates of grading and
retail purchase j/


Weighted average
City : 93 : Score at purchase : score at time
__ : score : 93 : 92 : : 90 : of purchase
: Lbs. : Lbs. : Lbs. : Lbs. : Lbs. : Quality score
New York : 84 : 54 : 28 : 2 : 0 : 92.6
Chicago : 37 __ 18 6 2 92.0 _
Total_ : 121 : 65 : 46 : 8 _2 92.4_
SPercent I100.0 53.7 : 38.0 : 6.6 : 1.7 :

I/ Since the difference in behavior of the New York and Chicago samples was
so wide with respect to quality loss, a Chi Square test was made to lean
what probability existed that two such samples could be drawn from a universe
described by the sum of the two. In this particular instance, the proba-
bility was only one chance in a hundred, indicating that either there was
a real difference in the character of the butter between the two markets or
there was some bias in the selection or measurement of the sample.








-9-

Table 5 shows the loss in quality between dates of grading and
purchase of butter that originally graded as 02 score. A total of 54
pounds of butter carrying 92 score certificates of quality were bought
at New York and Chicago in this survey. Of this total only 13 pounds
were bought in New York, the remaining 41 pounds being collected in
Chicago. At New York, 69 percent of the butter graded 92 score retained
this quality at time of purchase, while in Chicago 59 percent retained
the original quality. The quality scores of the butter when bought had
a range of 90 to 93 score at New York. Less standardization was indicated
at Chicago whore the butter thrt originally graded 92 score ranged from 89
to 93 score at time of retail purchase, but a Chi Sauare test showed that
greater differences might be expected to occur merely as sampling fluctua-
tions.

Table 5.- Loss in quality of 92 score butter between dates of grading and
purchase


Weighted average
&City : 2 Score atspurchase score at time
_-score : 93 : 92 : 91 : 90 : 89 _of purchase-
: Lbs. : Up.: : lag. b: Lbs. : Quality score
New York : 13 : : 7 2 : 2 : 0 91.7
_Chicao __41 : 4 :20 : 9 _:_ 4 4 91.4
S-Total- : 54_ :_ 6 _:_2? : 6 _: 4 91.5 -
SPercent : _100.0 : 11.1:_50.0 :20.4 : _11.1 : 7.4 -

Data presented thus far indicate that, for purposes of comparison,
New York and Chicago are not homogeneous and therefore in most cases they
must be treated separately.

In New York, 97 pounds of butter with certificates of quality and
132 pounds without certificates were bought. The fact that the samples
were not selected at random prevents any very rigid interpretation of the
comparisons of the score at the time of retail purchase of these two lots
of butter. The sample sold with certificates was undoubtedly as representa-
tive as is possible to make it, for almost all lots were included. In the
attempt to include national brands sold in considerable volume the other
sample was undeniably biased, showing higher than average quality. Many
distributors, for instance, package low-grade brands that were not included
in this sample.

Some of the local brands were not characterized by consistently
high quality, but these were inadequately represented. With these sug-
Sgestions as to their limitations, tables 6 and 7 are offered, showing the
distribution in quality at time of retail store purchase of butter both
at New York and at Chicago, with and without certificates of quality.








-10
-Table 6.- Butter: Quality at time of consumer purchase in N-w York
Table 6.- Butter; Quality at time of con~suer purchase In Hew Tork


Class


*
0
*


Gov't graded
Not Gov't graded :
Total


-?aaity !core
....... Z_ _---& -c---- -----
93 92-.- 91- 90- 89 88 No Grade -
Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds 'Pounds Pounds Pounds
56 35 4 2 -- -
21 40 32 2-. -9- 4 2
77 75 36 26 9 4 2


Within the limits imposed by the sampling procedure, table 6 show
that, at New York, Government graded butter offers the consumer the greater
assurance of quality. Table 6 also shows that a large quantity of fine
butter was sold which was not Government-graded. The comparison, at
Chicago, between the two classes of butter is shown in table 7.

Table 7.- Butter: Quality at time of consumer purchase in Chicago

-------- ----- --- --------------------------------------------
Quality score
Class-- ------------ -
93 80 8w8
-----: 93 92- -9 8 -87 8 Grade-
SPounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pounds Pound Pounds
Gov't graded : 15 38 15 6 4 -
Not Gov't graded : 17 48 42 41' 18 12. 2 2 4
Total 32 86 57 47 22 12 2 2 4

These comparisons favor certificates of quality from the point of
view of the consumer who desires high quality butter.

TIME OF HOLDING AS FACTOR AFFECTING INTERIOR QUALITY 'F BUTTER

A distribution of the quality scores for butter carrying 93 score
certificates compared with the time lapsed between grading and retail pur-
chase is found in table 8; a similar distribution for butter carrying 92
certificates is found in table 9. Time lapsed from the churn to the print
room could not be measured.

From a comparison of tables 8 and 9, it is evident that the pro-
portion of butter included in the total sample is not equally divided as
between 93 and 92 score at New York and Chicago. Seventy percent of the
total samples carrying 93 score certificates of quality were bought in
New York, while 75 percent of the total samples carrying 92 score certifi-
cates of quality were bought in Chicago. A larger number of brands of
butter carry certificates of quality in the New York markets than in
Chicago. In this survey, samples of 21 brands with certificates of quality
were bought in New York, all but 4 of which were 93 score. At Chicago,
8 brands of butter carrying certificates of quality were bought, 5 of which
were 93 score and 3 of which were 92 score.







- 11 -


Table 8.-


Number
of
days held
Days

5 & less
6- 10
11 15
16 20
21 25
26 & over
Total


Butter, graded 93 score: Score at purchase compared with time
lapsed between grading and purchase


At New York
: Score when :. Percent showing _


93
score
Lbs.

17
21
20
11
6
7
82


:_ boukht at retail _-
9 3 92 : 91 : 90 _
Lb _s. ;hl: _Ig.. :


26

:3
27


I
U
3
4
U
4
4


0
0

0
1
0
1
2~?


6
4
4
4

p
4


p
C
I
a
4
4
C
4


11
14
15
4
6
5S
3
53


loss
Percent

64.7
66.7
75.0
36.4
100.0
42.9
64 .6


: 1 pt.
: loss _
SPercnr.t


4
4
4
4

C
C
I


35.3
35.3
25.0
54.5
.0
42.9
32.9


:More than
:I pt.loss
Percent

S .0
S .0
: .0
9.1
S .0
14.2
* 2.5


5 & less
6 -10
11 15
16 20
21 25
26 & over
Total


1
17
9
3
2
- 3
35


10 : 0
10 _:_18


At Chicago

0 0
0 : 0
:2 t 1
:1 t 0
0 :0
- 2- 1;
: 2 : 2
: 5 : 2


.0
41.2
22.2
33.3
.0
.0


100.0
: 58.8
44.5
33.3
100.0
S .0


28.6 : 51.4 : 20.0


Table 9.- Butter, graded 92 score: Score Rt purchase compared with time
lapsed between grading and purchase


Number
of
days held
Days

5 & less
6- 10
11 15
16 20
21 25
26 & over
Total


92
score
Lbs.


0
0
4
3
2
4
13


9
:~93 :


-- -- -- --At New Yor.k
: Score when


boyght-at retail
- 92- :- 91 : 90:


89


...-. r percent showing __
No : I pt. :More than
: loss : loss : lpt. loss


;Lbs.: Lbs.: Lbs.: Lbs.: Lbs.: Percent: Percent : Percent


a


5 & less : 1
6 -10 7
11 15 : 12
16 -20 : 6
21 -25 9
26 &-over 4
Total : 39


a


a





a


0 : 0
0 : 4
0 : 9
:1 : 3
:1 : 3
S_: I_ 1


a
C

C


4
4

I
4
p
4
4


I
4
p
4
C
4
4


At Chicago
0 0 :
2 0 :
2 1 :
1 : 0.
3 :2 :
1 : _1:


.0
.0
50.0
100.0
100.0
S50.0
60.2


1 .
1:
0
1:
0
0:._


.0
57.1
75.0
66.7
44.5
50_.0


.0
.0
25.0
.0
.0
25.0
15.4



.0
28.6
16.7
16.7
33.3
25.0


S: 3 : 20 : 0 : 4 : 3 : 58.9 : 23.1 : 18.0


.0
:333
S33.4

S.0
100.0


a
C


a
4

C
S
4



4
C
4

a

4


.0
.0
25.0
.0
.0
25.0
15.4



100.0
14.3
8.3
16.6
22.2
_254.0







12-


For butter losing only one quality score, whether Government graded
93 score or 92 score, no relation was indicated in tables 8 and 9 between
the number of days the butter was held and the score at the time purchased.
The percentages shovmwn in the tables support the assumption that butter with
inherently good keeping quality, when well cared for, does not deteriorate
even though held a comparatively long time. On the other hand high quality
butter occasionally deteriorates rapidly. A point in fact is shown in table 9
where, at Chicago, there were two instances of a 3-point loss in quality
within 10 days from the time the butter was Government graded. This is an
example of butter that was fine flavored when graded but lacked the keeping
quality to maintain this flavor even for a short time, or was subjected to
unfavorable conditions after grading and before final purchase. The two
instances in which there was a 3-point loss in quality in 10 days emphasizes
the need for very careful supervision of the product from the preparation of
the raw material, through the manufacturing processes, and while the finished
product is passing through the channels of distribution, in order to insure
a fine product for the consumers.

Although the number of instances from which conclusions may be drawn
are very few, they seem to indicate that, in butter losing more than one
point, tine is a factor. This evidence suggests that where real latent de-
fect's are present, time gives them a chance to develop and once started they
develop rapidly usually causing deterioration of more than one quality score.

TIE ELAPSED FROM THE PRIITI ROOM TO THE COISU1TERS

A complete measurement of the time required to move butter from the
churn to the print room was not available. For Government-graded butter,
however, the time elapsed from the print room to the consumers was measure-
able.


Table 10.-


Number

Time Period

Days
5 and less
10 and less
15 and less
20 and less
25 and less
STotal
Number pounds
Days
5 and less
10 and less
15 and less
20 and less
25 and less
Total


Rate of turnover for butter from print room to consumers by
income areas Total purchases fdr various time periods


pounds bought in each time period by income areas


Low-Income

Pounds
S53
* 14
: 22


Area :Mledium-Income Area : High-Income Area

: Pounds : Pounds
: 9 : 6
S25 : 24
: 50 : 34


: 45-- : .- 76 --:- 43


bought in each time period as percent
S P- rc.nt P.:rc. nt
: 6.7 11.8
31.1 32.9
S 48.9 65.8
S 66.7 80.3
S 82.2 90.8
100.0 100.0


of total purchases
: lr c:nt
: 14.0
: 55.8
79.1
: 86.0
: 97.7
100.0




~1


13 -


At all time periods the rate of turnover was greatest in the high
income area, i.e., of the total pounds of butter bought in the high-income
area 79 percent had been held 15 days or less after being Government-graded,
as contrasted with 66 percent in the medium-income area, and 49 percent in
the low-income area.

SURFACE FLAVOR

The data previously presented and discussed referred to the interior
quality of the butter purchased. Another problem in the keeping quality of
butter has to do with its surface. The surface of a print of butter the
more exposed part is first to absorb any flavors or odors and the first
to show evidence of oxidation or defect caused by aerobia. Although the
depth of penetration is probably less than one-sixteenth inch in most cases
and varies with a very large number of conditions, it is none the less
evident that any difference between the surface and the interior flavor of
print butter may be a serious problem.

The existence of a surface flavor different from the flavor in the
interior of the retail package was noted throughout this survey, and during
the latter part an attempt was made to score the surface separately. In
high-scoring butter the existence of surface flavor detracts from the
original quality.

In an analysis of the data on surface flavor collected at New York
and Chicago, as given in table 11, the proportion of butter having a surface
flavor different from the interior at New York differs significantly from
that at Chicago.

Table 11.- Surface flavor different from interior flavor reported on
butter bought in New York and Chicago from Jan. 1 to May 1, 1938


City : No change in Changed Total : Changed surface flavor
surfacee flavor: surface flavor : as percent of total
S Pounds : rounds : Pounds Percent

New York : 151 76 : 227 33.5
Chicago : 99 : 161 : 260 : 61.9
Total : 250 : 237 : 487 : 48.7 -

The difference illustrates again the limitation found in doing re-
search work in two widely different areas. One of the conditions of proper
sampling is that a constant probability exists. If this condition is not
fulfilled, biased results will be obtained from the survey. Because of the
differences that exist within the total sample, none of the percentages in
table 11 can be taken as representative of the proportion of butter that
develops a different surface flavor before reaching the consumers, but they
do point out that the problem of surface flavor is real in both markets.



[__







- 14 -


As the reports on surface flavor at New York and Chicago are not
homogeneous, table 12 is confined to data that apply to Chicago where the
larger sample was taken. This table shows the existence of surface flavor
in retail packages at time of purchase associated with the quality score
given the interior at the same time.

Table 12.- Surface flavor different from interior flavor reported on butter
bought in Chicago retail stores from January 1 to May 1, 1938


Interior score : No change in : Charnged : Total :Changed surface flavor
at purchase surface flavor: surface flavor: : as percent of total
Score : Pounds : Pounds Poudss :--Percent ~
93 8 : 24 32 : 75.0
92 27 : 59 : 86 68.6
91 21 : 36 : 57 63.2
90 20 : 27 47 57.4
89 13 : 9 : 22 : 40.9
88 & Less 10 : 6 _16 37.5
Total 99 : -161- : 260 _: 61.9 -

The percentages given in the last column of this table indicate that
surface flavor different from interior flavor is particularly associated
with high-scoring butter. This difference in flavor is therefore important
in a certificate of quality program in which consumer satisfaction is the
ultimate goal.

CONDITION OF HOLDING IN RETAIL STORES

Butter is assumed to absorb foreign odors readily, and therefore it
was assumed that butter held apart from other foods in the refrigerator of
the retail store would be more free from foreign flavors than butter held
with other foods. But many retailers do not have separate compartments in
their refrigerators for butter and other dairy products. Table 13 shows
that in this survey the proportion of butter held under separate refriger-
ation at New York and at Chicago was slightly over one-half and one-fourth
respectively. The difference shown between the two markets may be a real
one, or it may arise from-the fact that, at New York, the preponderance of
samples was taken in the medium-income and high-income areas where con-
dition of holding may have differed from those in the low-income and
Negro areas.




a 1P -


Table 13.- Surface flavor different from interior flavor as related to con-
dition of holding reported on butter bought from Jan. 1 to My I# 192B


Ne
Ch
Tc


City No change in
y surface flavor
Pounds
-w York : 80
Licago : 32
tal 112


New York
Chicago
Total


Refrigerate ion separate
Changed Total Changed surface flavor
Surface flavor : ; as percent of total
Pounds : Pounds : Percent -
29 : 109 26.6
38 70 54.3
167 1 79 3:7.4


Held with other foods
62 3 --- 9 ..1 "i0 38.6
: 66 121 : 187 : 64.7
:- : 5- --
128 -160 : 288 55.6


At both cities sane butter was purchased which was not under refrig-
eration. Nrew York reported 17 pounds of which 8 pounds had different surface
flavor; Chicago reported 3 pounds of which 2 pounds had different surface
flavor.

The data tabulated in table 13 disclose that a changed surface flavor
develops in butter held in separate compartments of refrigerators as well as
in butter held with other foods. This fact is in agreement with research
which indicates that some of the flavors that are usually classified as
absorbed, nay have other origin. But that foreign flavors may be .".borbed,
is shown by the fact that the larger percentage of butter held under re-
frigeration with other foods developed surface flavors unlike the interior
flavor. The difference between the prevalence of a changed surface flavor
under the two conditions of holding is significant. It also shows con-
siderable resistance to absorption of flavors which nay be assumed to
result from the fact that this butter was in cartons.

Another factor assumed to be important in the change of surface
flavor is the length of time the butter is held from manufacture to con-
sumption. Some measure of the time element is available in table 14 which
classifies surface flavor according to the number of days that elapsed
between the date the butter was graded for packaging with certificates of
quality and the date purchased in the retail store. This table indicates
that time of holding is an important factor as related to changed surface
flavor.


Table 14.-


Surface flavor different from interior flavor as related to time
from the print room to consumers on butter with certificates of
quality, bought from January 1 to May 1, 1938


SNo change in : Changed : Changed surface flavor
D ays held surface flavor : surface flavor : Total : as percent of total
Pounds Pounds Pounds Percent
5 & less : 15 4 19 21.0
6 -15 42 47 89 52.8
16 25 20 20 40 50.0
S26 & over : 5 12 ---- 17 70.6- -
-Total -- 83 : 165 50.3 -








- 16 -


CLAIMS FOR BUTTER

The statements or advertising which appear on butter when it is
offered for consumer acceptance are matters of importancewhen consumer
deception is under consideration. In this survey no consideration was
given the oral presentation made by jobbers to retailers or by retailers
to consumers. It is quite likely that considerable, though perhaps
innocent misrepresentation of butter quality occurs in this way. Printed
statements found on cartons and wrappers only wore considered.

In the case of butter that is sold with certificates of quality,
all statements are carefully scrutinized in advance in order that no
deceptive statement nay appear. Even in the case of 93 score, which is
the finest available in large volume, superlatives are rarely permitted.
Users of these certificates are restricted to advertising that is support-
ed by facts. The certificate itself, together with the description of the
standards under which the score is placed on the certificate, is considered
sufficient evidence of the quality and further elaboration is not necessary.

Claims for butter that is not sold with certificates of quality are
not subjected to supervision except that which the policy of the distribu-
tor imposes. As a result, printed statements are often irrelevant as re-
ferring to butter quality and in some cases are deceptive. Some tabulated
generalization with respect to these statements follows:

(A.) Descriptions of quality appearing on butter cartons which should
apply only to butter that grades 92 or 93 score:

(1) Fine, finer, finest.
(2) Best, very best.
(3) Fancy, strictly fancy.
(4) Highest.

(B.) Adjectives used on cartons which have an indefinite connotation
when applied to quality in butter:

(1) Uniform.
(2) warranted pure.
(3) Wholesome.
(4) Exceptional.

(C.) Conservative statements which do not exaggerate or misrepresent the
quality of butter offered:

(1) Some packages include only a brand name.
(2) Pasteurized creamery butter.
(3) Made from pasteurized cream.








17 -


In the REVISED TUITATIVE UNITED STATES STAITDARDS FOR QUALITY OF
CREAMERY BUTTER? nnly two adjectives are used to describe butter having
the highest quality "fine" and "pleasing". Fine flavor applies only
to 93 score quality and pleasing flavor is limited to 92 score. Butter
having a fairly pleasing flavor may grade 90 to 91 score.

SIn the samples of butter collected that did not carry certificates
of quality, the words fine, finer, or finest wore used for 7 brands to
describe either the quality of the cream used, or the flavor of the butter
contained in the carton. Judging from the description on the package,
the customer could expect to receive butter that originally scored 92 or
93. Forty-five individual prints advertised on the carton as "fine" were
collected in this survey. The quality range was from 88 to 93 score. But
only one print graded AS and one 93. As 26 percent of the samples graded
92 to 93 score, 36 percent 91 score, and 38 percent 88 to 90 score, it is
evident that the consumer could not be sure of receiving the quality that
the statement on the carton could load him to expect.

The remainder of the descriptive terms listed under (A) also imply
butter of 92 to 93 score quality since they are superlatives amd therefore
should represent only the highest qupljty. Adjectivos like best, fancy,
and highest quality, were iuolud.e A stutsMents found on 8 brands of
butter, consisting of 72 one-pound prints. The quality score distribution
was as follows: Within a range of 89 to 95 score, 18 percent graded 93
score, 41 percent 92, 24 percent 91, and 17 percent 89 to 90 score. Al-
though there is considerable chance for consumer deception in this group,
the percentage of butter scoring 92 to 93 score is sizable, showing that
a number of the brands were not misrepresented by the descriptions on the
cartons.

The group of adjectives under (B) are tno indefinite or vague to
be Pf much value to a consumer in determining the quality of a carton nf
butter. The sample collected having descriptions like those given under
(B) consisted nf 42 prints, that had a quality range of 86 to 93 score,
distributed as follows: 18 percent 93, 29 percent 92, 17 percent 91,
and 36 percent 86 to 90 score. Butter in this group ranged from the
poorest to the very finest.

From the three groups under discussion it is clear that there is
little relation between the claims for brands of butter that dn not carry
certificates of quality and the actual quality of the butter.

As indicated under (C) there are a number of distributors who make
no statements, or only very conservative statements, as to the quality of
their brands. This group includes some brands that have a high average
quality score.








18 -


Quality Variation by Income Areas

In planning this study of the quality of butter sold at retail,
areas that hnve distinct income characteristics were selected in each
city, for the purpose of learning whether specified brands for sale in
all sections of the city maintained uniform quality throughout the
market. The sample at Chicago was complete for 10 well-known brands,
which did not carry certificates of quality. The average quality score
for each brand was calculated and deviations from this average were
tabulated by income areas. For some of the brands there was no tendency
for the quality to be either above or below average, as related to income
areas. Other brands were below average in the low-income and Negro areas
andi significantly above average in the high-income areas, indicating that
the brands did not represent the same quality throughout the city. Whore
these differences existed, the claims rido for certain brands might be
representative of the quality for one income area but not for another.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF QUALITY RESEARCH

Butter, if properly produced, is one of the most satisfactory forms
of fat for human food because of its fine, pleasing flavor and because It
includes vitamins, particularly the fat soluble vitamin A which makes the
liver oils of salmon, halibut, and cod so valuable. Butter is also a good
source of vitamin D.

Butter, like most articles of food, is perishable, although sur-
prisingly resistant to the defects of perishability. A very large quantity
of fine research has been completed by chemists, physicists, and bacteriol-
ogists which has produced a voluminous body of literature on the subject and
a very greatly improved technique of production and marketing.

All too often this research directs popular attention to the defect
rather than to the means of control. Consumers should recognize the fact
that the discussion of the problem of quality preservation by 'scientists
is for the purpose of making butter an even more satisfactory food. Dis-
cussion of the problems that are net mand controlled in the production and
marketing of butter should be reassuring rather than alarming to consumers,
for they indicate that the industry is alert to its responsibility in pro-
ducing a fine food product. The fact that such a very large proportion
of the butter bought and scored in the conduct of this study showed little
deterioration at the time of purchase is evidence of the good effects of
research already done.

Yet merchandisers of butter, either with or without certificates
of quality, nust face the problem that some inherent defects still may be
concealed at the time of grading. Such defects, although rare, may
devolnp later in the process of distribution after it has passed out of
the original owners control. Continued research on keeping quality
problems should help eliminate the occasional inherent defects. At the


b- __--









- 19 -


same tine technicians trained for advancement in this research, as well
as for using the results of research already completed, are needed. Some
butter manufacturers do employ such technicians to whcm thy give broad
authority over production operations.

In the proccnss of gathering and scoring the 494 samples of butter
reported in this survey, 6 samples were found that were "no grade". This
means that according to the standards of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
such butter was below the requirements of U. S. 85 score because of its
flavor or other conditions. These samples were found in brands of butter
that usually score high. The fact that they were not found in butter sold
with certificates of quality is probably an accident because it is im-
possible, by scoring alone, to detect a condition th.t nay later cause
butter to show marked deterioration.

Although butter that shows marked deterioration in the cartons is
rare, the fact remains that the occurence is frequent enough to raise a
problem that some firms have attacked by testing the keeping quality of
a small sample from each churning. This method is so devised that it is
possible to trace butter back to the producing creamery whore experts are
usually able to find the cause. In some instances it might seem impractical
to hold butter for the period of 7 to 10 days usually required for testing
its keeping quality although in some instances this is actually done.
Since lack of keeping quality seems often to be associated 'with the product
of certain creaner-Les, the conduct of keeping quality (incubation) t-..sts
might still offer a method of control for dealers interested in high
quality by indicating the source of butter which deteriorated badly. Even
though the churnings were not held until incubation was co;ipl-tcd, the
incubation of all samples of high quality butter would identify question-
able lots and protect the distributor in so far as later lots fror the
sane creamery were concerned until the source of the defect was placed
under control.

STANDARDIZATION ANID GRADING

Standardization of quality is a complex problem when applied to
any perishable comrn-odity. It is particularly complex when applied to
butter.

The grading concept implies that the supply of butter can be arrayed
front the poorest to the finest quality available. It further implies that
this array may be subdivided into classes, each having common character-
istics and between which the lines of demarcation are distinct.

The grading concept for marketing purposes also has a value im-
plication. The criteria for establishing the lines of division between
the classes in the array of butter quality should be those dictated by
demand. The total supply should be adjusted to demand in such a way as
to give the greatest value to the product.









20 -


The grades now in use are based on the result of research in the
physicr-i sciences and on practical experience. These are fully described
in the OFFICIAL UNITED STATES STANDARDS FOR QUALITY OF CRSAMERY BETiERH
issued by the Bureau of Agricultural Economnics, U. S. Department of
Agriculture.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS |

The existence and general application of any kind of grading for :
quality, by whomsoever applied, presupposes thrt a service of this kind ::
is practical and can be rendered. The results of this research lend strong |
support to this hypothesis by showing that, as between butter sold with
certificates of quWlity :'nd all other butter, the brands carrying certifi-
cates of quality were of higher average quality and were more uniformly
standardized. Consunors who wished to buy butter of the character described
as 92 and 93 score, but who were unable themselves to sample and judge this
quality, were more likely to find it consistently by buying butter packaged
with certificates of quality than by following the advertising statements
printed on butter packages. Some brands of butter, however, were found
equal in average quality and standardization to that which was Government'-
graded.

A flavor at the surface different from that at the interior was
frequently noted. This condition occurred nore often in high-scoring ..H "
butter than in low-scoring butter because against a background of fine ,o
flavor, such a difference is more noticeable. Conditions of refriger-
ation in retail stores appear to be a contributing factor in the appear-
anco of changed surface flavor,

The instances in which the quality had deteriorated more than one
point from the original score, although few, were still numerous enough
to indicate that keeping quality is a serious problem. For the purpose
of identification of butter which lacks keeping quality and for the pro-
vention of its use in cartons carrying certificates of quality, a wider
use of incubation tests of keeping quality is desirable. 1,

*21*=
."




*!




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