Local Food Survey: Consumers Motivated by Quality, Health

The buy local trend has had a particularly big impact on the food industry, according to data from Statista. Consumers have gained more access to food products that were grown locally or made with locally sourced ingredients through events like farmers’ markets and through grocery chains that make a point of stocking local food items on their shelves. So how many consumers pay attention to this growing trend? And how many of them make a point of buying local food when they get the chance? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on this growing trend.

local food

Local Food

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 6% of respondents said that they always shop for products that were grown locally or made with local ingredients when buying food. 17% said they buy local food items most of the time. 37% do so about half the time. 22% said they rarely ever buy local food products. 2% never do. And 15% were unsure.

Farmers’ markets were the most popular places for consumers to find and purchase local food products. But others also mentioned Walmart, Sprout, Safeway, Publix and Trader Joe’s.

Local Benefits

Of those who have purchased local food items, 76% said they’ve done so because they feel like local food options are of higher quality than other food products. 52% appreciate the economic impact of buying food locally. 46% like the convenience of it. 42% like the price. Another 42% think that local food is healthier. And 41% appreciate the environmental impact.

Consumer Profile

According to Personality Radar, those who buy local food items all or most of the time tend to be healthy, socially conscious individuals who are also interested in products of convenience. Additionally, they tend to be at least somewhat tech savvy and have a fair amount of disposable income, though they’re still interested in getting great value from their purchases.

Key Takeaways

Quality seems to be the most important determining factor when it comes to consumers buying local food. But it’s not the only thing that companies can call attention to when trying to promote their local food options. In fact, nearly half of respondents seem to think that food that is grown or produced locally tends to be healthier. And those who buy local food products regularly do seem to be concerned with living healthy lifestyles, so that could be another potential talking point for businesses. In addition, those consumers tend to be tech savvy and interested in convenience. So businesses could potentially grab their attention by partnering with mobile apps or websites that help consumers locate food options in their area, especially those that are specifically focused on local food or healthy food. Running ads on those sites or apps could also be a good way of grabbing their attention.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Michigan Fall Market – Dan Bruell by U.S. Department of Agriculture under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on March 20 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.