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This report details an innovative two year study conducted by the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), that revealed important details on customer buying habits and responses to advertising by farmers’ markets. In addition to exploring the impact of advertising and marketing strategies, the study revealed attitudes and buying habits of shoppers, allowed for a demographic comparison of shoppers to community residents, and facilitated an estimate of the economic impact of farmers’ markets on surrounding businesses.
An article discussing a farmers market price comparison study conducted by a business statistics class at Seattle University. Studying an area farmers market and two grocery markets over a two week period, they found the average price per pound of a number of different goods ranging from beets to chard to salad mix was lowest at the farmers market.
Findings and Reflections from Listening Sessions of Oregon’s Healthy Eating and Farmers Markets Project
Using a social determinants of health framework, this research from the Oregon Public Health Institute included farmers market tours, listening sessions and focus groups to understand perceptions about product variety, price, quality, and understanding of food assistance programs among low-income and minority residents in Multnomah County. The report includes participant quotes.
This study concludes that the relatively small customer travel distances suggest that managers will probably need to focus their marketing efforts on getting a greater share of food spending within the zones from which they already draw customers.
“Differentiation from competitors may improve market survival. Operating on different days from nearby markets or on multiple days or for longer seasons, developing a unique marketing mix of items, and focusing on location specific amenities such as parks, water features, and complementary shopping outlets are all ways to distinguish a market from its rivals and appeal to a broader range of customers. On the other hand, cooperative efforts among managers to coordinate operating schedules and market features may also be used to encourage vendors and customers to support a group of farmers markets in a region.”
This report presents an analysis obtained from visitors to the USDA Farmers Market through dot surveys conducted on September 10th and 17th, 2010. The format provides an example of how to analyze and communicate dot survey results.
The Union of Concerned Scientists report on recent research on local food systems, their key features, and their economic and social benefits. The report addresses challenges to be met by developing food systems and offers suggestions on policy change to expand local endeavors. According to the report, “modest public support for up to 500 farmers markets each year could create as many as 13,500 jobs over a five-year period.”
By interviewing adults and children visiting the Crescent City Farmers Market with the FEED survey, Market Umbrella evaluated individual human capital to understand how shopping at the market affects the dietary habits and nutritional health of market-goers. This report illustrates their findings; more FEED survey tools are available on the Market Umbrella marketshare web site.
Using the SEED tool created by Market Umbrella, the Crescent City Farmers Market reports that the Crescent City Farmers Mkt-Mid City has an annual combined economic impact of $1,921,269.17 on its vendors, host neighborhood, and surrounding region. Operating 51 days per year, the CCFM Mid City Market enjoys $114.75 in sales per square feet annually. This number is based on the estimated gross annual receipts of $515,473.89. It also attracts approximately 564 shoppers per market day. This results in an estimated annual attendance of 28,764 shoppers. More SEED tools are available at the Marketshare web site.
The results from a 2012 NEED study reveal the social impact of the Crescent City Farmers Market. The report finds evidence of the farmers markets strengthen social cohesion by bridging social groups and creating bonds within groups Sample survey tools for conducting a NEED study are available at Market Umbrella’s trans.act web site.
This research paper compiles the results for a series of questionnaires given to farmers’ market customers in Corvallis and Albany, Oregon. The results indicate that, among other findings, customers come to market for both products and atmosphere, they have a strong preference for organic products, and are willing to pay more for local produce.