Engaging Consumers in the Dynamic Local Foods Marketplace
Timothy Woods and Dawn Thilmany
This second theme in the Choices local food series focuses on the challenges of maintaining consumer engagement. Articles in this theme address the different buying patterns at mature farmers' markets as well as the difficulties state branding programs and food retailers face in engaging consumers around complex value propositions. Theme articles highlight the importance of adapting messaging across local food outlets.
Lydia Zepeda and Kathryn A. Carroll
The growth in the number of U.S. farmers’ markets has leveled off, resulting in concerns about market saturation. To investigate impacts to consumer purchases at mature markets, we use survey data collected from 732 visitors at a mature farmers’ market. While crowds and difficulties carrying purchases presented obstacles, 95% of visitors continue to purchase items at the market, averaging $28.46 spent per visit.
Elizabeth Naasz, Becca B.R. Jablonski, and Dawn Thilmany
State branding programs provide promotional support for local and regional foods markets across the United States. We discuss the results of a survey examining the effect of the Colorado Proud program and label on purchases and how the role of labels may impact purchases of local products directly from producers.
Tim Woods, Ali Asgari, and Jairus Rossi
This article explores four types of legitimacy as potential strategies for grocers and other retailers to more effectively engage local food consumers. A national survey of food consumers with various preferences for local food is used to illustrate what messages are more or less important to devoted local food shoppers.