Monday, January 19, 2009

Do Men Pay More for "Local?"

Last week I attended the Mid-Atlantic Direct Marketing Conference. One of the sessions I attended was on positioning your market for the 'buy local' crowd. One speaker described the typical market segments that a farm market has. An interesting observation the speaker had was that men were more willing to pay higher prices for food labeled "local" than women were.

He conjectured that there were a couple of reasons for this. First, since men typically don't do the food shopping, they are not as familiar with food prices. Therefore, they are willing to pay any price just to make sure they bring home what they have been told to buy. Second, men feel the need to not appear price conscious. So, if a pint of berries is priced at $8.00, they are more likely to buy it regardless so as to appear financially able and to impress those he comes in contact with.

While this is an interesting observation, and perhaps true, it offers the direct marketer a new set of challenges. Since men do not typically do the food shopping, how does one lure them in? Perhaps, as with a jewelry store I have heard advertisements for, the direct marketer offers special "men only" events. And once men do make a purchase, how do marketers draw them back once their spouses see what they have paid?

What are your thoughts? Do men pay more for "local" foods? Are they a viable market segment for direct farm marketers?

No comments: