Friday, January 7, 2011

Surveys of mid-Atlantic consumers conducted by Penn State researchers part 2

Continuing with the series on the PSU survey, more research has been released regarding produce purchasing behaviors of different age groups. (Sorry for the long pause between blog posts. I was on maternity leave.)

One question focused on the origin of common fruits and vegetables available at mid-Atlantic produce retailers. Participants were provided with a list of 46 fruits and vegetables including such items as apples, bananas, mushrooms, potatoes, and watermelon and were asked to indicate which of these fruits and vegetables are grown in the mid-Atlantic region.

Overall, 38 of the 46 fruits and vegetables listed were shown to exhibit significant differences between the age groups in regards to what produce they believe is grown in the mid-Atlantic region.

Some important findings include:
1) Generally, the older a participant was, the more likely he or she selected the correct fruits and vegetables, meaning that more of the older participants selected fruits and vegetables actually grown in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as NOT selecting fruits and vegetables that are NOT grown in the Mid-Atlantic. The younger age groups tended to select more incorrect responses than the older age groups.

2) The 21-24 year old age group was the exception to this generalization, as more of the participants from this group would select more fruits and vegetables to be grown in the mid-Atlantic region.

To read the full press release, please visit

As an ag entrepreneur, how does this information affect you? Will you use advertising to teach your customers about what produce is from the mid-Atlantic region? Do you think that incorrectly identifying the fruit's origin affects the purchasing behaviors of consumers?

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