Food shoppers prize local foods and, in some cases, may value them above organic, according to a pair of recent studies.
An Ohio State University survey showed that shoppers are
willing to pay a premium for locally produced products-at farmers’ markets,
almost twice as much. The survey offered respondents a choice between two
baskets of strawberries, each presented with a variety of factors involving
price, farm location and type, and freshness guarantees. Respondents at grocery
stores were willing to pay an average of 48 cents more for strawberries
produced locally, and shoppers at farm markets, 92 cents
study, by the Food Marketing Institute, showed that local food products have
stronger appeal for consumers than organic ones. FMI’s 16th annual Shopping for
Health survey revealed that when local and organic versions of a theoretical
product cost the same, 50% would choose the local version, 28% the organic one.
The survey also showed that, of respondents who said they have stopped buying
organic products, 70% cited high cost as the main reason.
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