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Friday, August 13, 2010

Research conducted to examine the purchasing behaviors of mid-Atlantic consumers

If you are a mid-Atlantic specialty crop producer, retailer, or wholesaler, you may be interested in checking out www.midatlanticspecialtycrops.com. Under the "Newsroom" tab, you will find multiple news articles summarizing 4 surveys conducted over the past year by Penn State. The surveys explore the produce purchasing behaviors of mid-Atlantic consumers.

1,565 total participants from the metropolitan areas of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond were surveyed on what types of food products they purchased, where they purchased these products, and what variables may have affected their purchasing behaviors. Issues addressed in the consumer surveys include labeling, children in the household, origin of farmers’ market produce, food safety, snacking, certified-organics, state promotional programs, locally grown, and natural.

Some interesting information gathered:
-The majority of participants (78%) defined “locally grown” as 100 miles or less from their residence.
-29.3% of survey participants selected farmers’ markets/CSAs as their primary source of produce when local produce was in-season.
-The majority of the participants (53.8%) believed that 50-99% of produce at a farmers' market was grown by the market farmers.
-The majority of participants who reported purchasing certified-organic fruits and vegetables either made these purchases 2 to 3 times per month (30.7%) or once per week(29%).

As an ag entrepreneur, how will you use the information from these surveys in your business? Do you regularly look for research like this to learn more about your customers? What other types of research topics would help you become a better entrepreneur and/or strengthen your business?

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