In this study, it was attempted to analyze main factors determining consumption of fermented milk drinks and to identify consumers’ preferences for some selected quality properties and marketing characteristics of those drinks. The study was based on a population of the students in Cracow; their representatives were randomly selected, and, then, polled using standard questionnaires. It was stated that fermented milk drinks were commonly purchased by 87,8% of the students polled, and over a half of them bought those drinks more often that once a week. The purchasing frequency of fermented milk drinks depends on the sex and income of the respondents, and it is not determined by education, age, nor by place of residence. As for the hierarchy of factors deciding on the fermented drink purchasing, the shelf life (51%) and nutritional value (37%) appear to be the most important. Confidence in the manufacturer plays only a moderate role if compared with other factors. As much as 93% respondents place packaging at the lowest place of the factors’ hierarchy, and it is the evidence that consumers are used to a good quality of drinks packaging present on the market. Marketing factors such as trademark and adverts promoting fermented milk drinks could impact the student’s decision to purchase them, provided the following requirements are met: a product is regarded a novelty on the market, it shows a really high quality, and its healthful properties (including its enhancing shelf life and nutritive value) are stressed in the first place in adverts and promotional actions addressed to this particular consumers’ segment.
fermented milk drinks, consumers’ preferences, structure of factors